Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Police arrest man suspected of DUI after crashing into South Hill home

Spokane firefighters on the scene of a car that crashed into a home on the northeast corner of 26th Avenue and Bernard Street constructed a support structure for the porch overhang on Wednesday.  (Dan Pelle/THESPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

For the second time this year, a couple on the South Hill is dealing with the aftermath of a crash caused by an alleged drunken driver.

Hannah Alemayehu was working at her desk about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday when a loud crash shook her home.

“I thought our furnace exploded,” she said.

Instead, a car had plowed over much of her back fence, through supports of a roof over the back patio and into the home.

Police arrested the man who was driving the Toyota Matrix with a temporary Washington license plate on suspicion of driving under the influence, said Hannah’s husband, Gabriel Alemayehu.

A couple of hours after the crash, Gabriel said they still were assessing the damage, but the crash cracked the home’s foundation. He said they were grateful to the Spokane Fire Department, which built temporary supports to prevent the roof over the back patio from collapsing.

Gabriel and Hannah bought the home on the northeast corner of 26th Avenue and Bernard Street three years ago when they moved to Spokane, where Gabriel enrolled in Washington State University’s medical school.

It’s the second time this year the Alemayehus have been victims of a driver alleged to be under the influence. On Jan. 24, a driver crashed into Gabriel head-on on Riverside Avenue near Stevens Street, he said. The other driver also was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

The arrested drivers in the crashes on Tuesday and Jan. 24 were uninsured, Gabriel said.

Gabriel, whose arm was broken in the January crash, said it’s clear that there is a significant problem with drunken driving in Spokane.

“It’s just hitting so close to home,” he said.