Historic building demolished due to drunk driver

RED WING, Minn. (CNN) — A historic building is in shambles after an allegedly drunk driver crashed into it.

The building, Liberty Restaurant located near 3rd and Plum Streets, has been a community staple since 1886. Now, what’s left of it, sways when the wind blows.

“It’s unbelievable to see what a car could do to one of these historical buildings,” said Bill Hanisch, a local resident.

Hanisch lives above his bakery in another nearby historic building. He heard the crash and immediately sprung into action.

“So I threw my shoes on, ran down the steps, looked up the street and I was oooh wow.”

According to local police, officers were responding to a different call when they noticed an SUV traveling at high speeds. By the time officers were able to turn around, all they saw was a large dust cloud and debris. They arrived to find the suspect crawling out of the window.

“Five residential units upstairs. Five guys who live up there in separate units, and Rick, was in the second story in the front living room when it happened. He heard the big crash and thud. He hit the floor. He thought a bomb went off,” commented the building owner, Doug Noreen.

Noreen says he is thankful for the support he has received from his community.

“If I set my phone down for 10, 15 minutes, I will literally have 30 texts, Facebook messages, stuff like that — just people saying, ‘Is there anything we can do to help?’ And hearts and it’s overwhelming.”

As of now, structural engineers are trying to figure out if it’s possible to save what remains of the building.

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