By Margie Wuebker
ST. HENRY -- Two pickup trucks plowed into buildings along the 500 block of North Eastern Avenue (state Route 118) in a matter of several days.
And in both cases, St. Henry Police Chief Bob Garman says it is fortunate no one sustained serious injuries.
The first accident occurred at 1:08 a.m. Saturday when a pickup truck driven by Derrick Dysert, 20, 281 N. Walnut St., St. Henry, struck an attached garage at the home of Russel and Anita Hynd, 542 N. Eastern Ave.
Anita Hynd was seated on the steps inside the garage smoking a cigarette at the time. She watched increduously as the truck pushed in the doors, propelling her parked car against a generator near the back wall. Bricks and chunks of concrete flew through the air narrowly missing her.
Russel Hynd points toward neatly stacked trash bags along the side wall, each filled with crushed aluminum cans in keeping with the couple's recycling efforts. "Flying bricks sliced right through this bag and were deflected," he says. "The cut is head high and in a direct line with where Anita was sitting. The bags were certainly in the right place at the right time and my wife is living proof."
Dysert was taken by ambulance to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater, where he was treated then released.
Police are unsure regarding his direction of travel before the truck left the road and drove behind Buschur Refrigeration. The vehicle then drove through a narrow strip of lawn between the family-owned business and Mercer Osteopathic Ltd. It then traversed a parking lot, crossed the road and proceeded westbound up the Hynd's 100-foot driveway before coming to rest partially in the garage.
"Both Anita Hynd and Derrick Dysert are lucky to be here," Garman said. "How he got around those two businesses and across the road without doing any more damage is truly amazing."
Dysert was cited for operating a vehicle under the influence, failure to control and no seat belt. The heavily damaged pickup truck was towed from the scene.
The second accident occurred at 5:08 p.m. Monday as Derrick Selhorst, 24, 6633 Clover Four Road, Celina, drove his pickup truck into the St. Henry Food Mart parking lot at 502 N. Eastern Ave.
"I saw the truck approaching the building and I expected it to stop like all the others," clerk Jeanene Roessner said. "Then I heard a loud noise and a decoration fell from the front window."
Selhorst's brakes apparently failed causing the vehicle to drive up over a sidewalk and strike the south corner of the building, smashing spouting, cracking masonry work and springing the front doors. While the building sustained considerable damage, the truck escaped with light damage to the bumper guard. No citation was issued.
"This is another one of those accidents that could have turned out much differently," Garman said. "There could have been serious injuries if someone had been walking on the sidewalk or coming through the front doors at that particular moment."