Michael W. Hodge took bar-crashing to a whole new level Monday, police said.
After drinking at the Trent N Dale Pub, Hodge and two friends hopped into a Ford F-250 pickup just after 5 p.m. But driving down Trent Avenue about 65 mph didn’t work when Hodge tried to turn right onto Ella Road, said Trooper Jim Hill of the Washington State Patrol. The truck veered into a parking lot, taking a fire hydrant with it.
Then the truck swiped through the front of Brewski’s Pub & Grub, taking out the patio and causing some structural damage to the building, Hill said.
But authorities said Hodge kept driving. He steered the truck through a ditch and back onto Trent, driving at oncoming traffic for several feet before turning off at Park Road. There he parked and hid behind Cook’s Automotive, Hill said.
It didn’t take long for police to find the Spokane Valley resident.
The Ford left a “complete, perfect fluid trail” that led the officers right to him, said Hill.
Hodge, 52, was arrested and faces one charge each of DUI and hit-and-run, and two charges each of reckless endangerment and first-degree malicious mischief, Hill said. The joyride caused nearly $6,000 in damage to the hydrant, at least $10,000 to Brewski’s and totaled the Ford, said Hill.
“He said he didn’t really know what happened,” Hill said of Hodge, “but his friends said he kind of freaked out when he was driving.”