Alleged drunk driver plows into Visalia bus stop, Mexican restaurant

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Visalia Police say a driver headed down Fairway attempted to make a left turn onto Caldwell, lost control, took out a bus stop sign and bench before crashing into Chapalas Mexican. (KFSN)

Chapalas Mexican restaurant in Visalia was supposed to be open Monday. But unfortunately, owner Leticia Lopez spent much of the day turning customers away.

"(We) have to say, sorry, but come back tomorrow," Lopez said.

At about 2:15 Monday morning, Visalia Police say a driver headed south on Fairway attempted to make a left turn onto Caldwell, but lost control, careened across the road, and took out a bus stop sign and bench before crashing into the restaurant.

Police say 30-year-old Desmond Huggins was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

"It was just based on the officer's observations at the scene," said Visalia Police Sgt. Damon Maurice. "And we do know obviously from the overnight rains it was wet out, and that may have contributed to this accident as well."

"Good thing it was in the night because in the day, there's people, you can see there's people waiting for the bus all day," Lopez said.

A Visalia Transit worker showed up Monday afternoon to survey the damage to the bus stop. He told Action News that the bench would likely be replaced on Tuesday.

Lopez hopes to reopen Tuesday as well, but will make sure the building is structurally sound first. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and Lopez says both parties have insurance.

She just hopes the driver will think twice before getting back on the road again, so crashes like this can be avoided.

"Only the people who drink and drive, is the only people who have to take care," Lopez said.
Related Topics:
newsdui crashtulare countyVisalia
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