Reckless driver damages house, fences, pump, utility pole

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Staff Writer

Jeremy Niederbrach, 25, of Salem was arrested Jan. 2 after he left the scene of an accident and fled on foot Dec. 29.

The Fulton County Sheriff's Office received a report from Sonic Drive-In restaurant about a red car that was being driven recklessly in the parking lot, according to Salem Police Chief Albert Roork.

The driver had run over the Sonic entrance sign and lawn, almost hitting a pickup truck with two passengers, Roork reported.

The vehicle left Sonic, headed west on Highway 62 and attempted to turn into a driveway. The vehicle missed the driveway and struck a phone pedestal before the car hit a tree, Roork said.

The vehicle then went through a ditch and back into the driveway traveling through a chain link fence at the home of Gary Hardin.

After going through the fence the car hit Hardin's heat pump and knocked it off of its concrete foundation. The crash destroyed the unit, Roork reported.

Niederbrach also hit a mobile home and destroyed the underpinning, according to Roork. The car hit the support blocks under the trailer, causing more damage.

The car then went through the chain link fence to another location and hit a guy wire to a utility police before the vehicle became disabled.

The crash knocked out the power to the home.

A neighbor told Roork he heard the noise and looked outside. The neighbor witnessed Niederbrach exit the vehicle from behind the wheel and run toward some mobile homes before running into the woods south of the trailers, Roork said.

Damage is estimated in excess of $2,500, Roork said.

Roork arrested Niederbrach at a family member's home in the Fairview Community four days after the incident.

He was charged with second-degree criminal mischief. He was released the following day after he posted a $5,000 bond.

Niederbrach was arrested again Jan. 6 because he violated the terms of his probation, Roork said. Roork said he surrendered to authorities. He is being held at the Fulton County jail on a $5,000 bond.

Roork said Niederbrach did not have insurance on the car.

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