Car slams into insurance building

A speeding car careened into the Hagan Hamilton Insurance Services office at 448 S.E. Baker St. about 10 p.m. Monday, causing significant damage.

Operations Officer Jason John said one thought immediately came to mind when he arrived to inspect the damage:

“How did that happen? The headlights were facing out of the building.”

A 2015 Subaru WRX, driven by Alberto Garcia, 23, of McMinnville, left Baker Street, catapulted over a trio of concrete posts installed to protect the building from any frontal assault and smashed through the south side of the structure. Prior to hitting the building, it flipped, so entered the structure facing backward.

Garcia and passenger Zachary Thomas Bowdle, 18, of McMinnville, emerged unscathed. But Garcia was charged with one count each of driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, reckless endangering and second-degree criminal mischief, all Class A misdemeanors.

Garcia was released from the Yamhill County Jail after undergoing booking. He is scheduled for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in Yamhill County Circuit Court.

Sheriff’s Capt. Jason Mosiman, commander at the jail, said Garcia qualified for pre-trail release despite the severity of the crash and the multiple charges he faces. He said the decision was based on his relatively low rating on a pre-trial risk assessment instrument.

John said it’s too early to place a dollar figure on the damage, but said repairs would certainly run in the “tens of thousands of dollars.”

“We got lucky, because the car fit right into a single office space, but there’s a lot of work to be done,” John said.

“The concrete posts are buried three feet into the ground. He hit two and glanced off a third.”

Investigators said he was traveling at such a high rate of speed he was unable to negotiate the slight right-hand curve and lost control. They said alcohol was also a factor.

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