The cab driver was looking down at his cellphone in his white 1999 Pontiac Montana van, spending the wee hours of April 19 waiting for passengers. He sat out front of the Beacon pub downtown Coeur d'Alene, a perfect spot to pick up folks who had been drinking and needed a safe ride home.
But the Coeur d'Alene Press
reported this morning that at 1:24 a.m. on April 19, the cab was suddenly struck by another vehicle at 55-60 mph, more than twice the posted speed limit of 25. Witnesses saw a blue 2007 Nissan Altima as it severed a a utility pole and hit a park bench right before plowing into the taxi cab.
The driver of the Altima, identified in a police report as Jordan N. Moffett of Coeur d'Alene, blew blood-alcohol-level readings of 0.165 and 0.162, while the legal limit to drive is 0.08. The report stated she was cited for a DUI.
But despite the trauma and the damage to the taxi van, the night manager for Scott's Taxi, Bob Sisson, told the Press
that it's a lucky thing the taxi was sitting there at that moment. Otherwise, the drunk driver would have plowed right into the Beacon pub.
"It was kind of a blessing in disguise," Sisson said.
The cab driver suffered some broken ribs and visited the hospital after the impact. But because he didn't see the car coming, he didn't tense up, making his injuries less severe. The vehicle, however, is totaled.
"It looks like someone went through a demolition derby," Sisson said. He added that the driver's side was caved in and the rear axle busted off the van.