Suspected Drunk Driver Leaves Neighborhood Trashed

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Residents of Lynwood Drive got quite the rude wake up call Saturday morning, after authorities say a drunk driver raced through their neighborhood, leaving a trail of destruction in his path.

Ed Morris says his morning started out like most, checking his email and looking at the weather forecast. Then a little after 8:30am he heard something that wasn't so typical.

"I heard a weird noise outside and I thought my dogs were carousing," said Morris. "So I went out in the yard and there was a white pickup truck in my yard."

Seconds later, his neighbor Charlie Loftin also heard a noise.

"I was getting ready to go to work and I heard this loud bang," said Loftin.

Colorado State Patrol says that loud bang was 76-year-old Robert Schlauger as he sped down Lynwood Drive.

Troopers say he first crashed through Morris' fence, then drove from his yard to the other side of the road, where he took out a tree and a speed limit sign. Eyewitnesses say he then went back across the road, barely missing an elderly woman riding her scooter.

"It's a pure miracle that he didn't hit her," said Morris.

And it didn't stop there. As he continued down the street, officials say he slammed into the back of Loftin's pickup truck that was parked in the road, pushing it onto the sidewalk. He then drove around the corner onto Loftin's yard, crushing some of his rose bushes, before coming to a stop near the driveway, where he ran into Loftin's Volkswagen.

By that time several neighbors were outside. They say when they saw Schlauger get out of his truck, then try to get back in, they approached him. They say he was slurring his words and his breath smelled strongly of alcohol.

"He said I need a drink and I need to go to sleep," said Loftin.

To make sure he didn't go anywhere while they called authorities, the neighbors took his keys away.

"This man was trying to get away -- it's obvious he's going to hurt somebody if he continues driving," said Trooper W.D. Herrington. "So I commend them for doing that."

Crews arrived on scene and Schlauger was taken away to detox. Neighbors say while all of the damage he left behind has them irked --

"I'm not in the Christmas spirit, let's put it that way," said Loftin.

They're just glad no one was seriously hurt or worse.

"My truck can be replaced, my VW can be replaced and my rose bushes can be replaced," said Loftin. "We've got a lot of kids here in the park and they' can't be replaced."

Schlauger was cited for DUI, careless driving, and no proof of insurance.

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