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Injured and homeless in Dickinson: Man wonders where he'll sleep after car he's been calling home hit by alleged drunk driver

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Injured and homeless in Dickinson: Man wonders where he'll sleep after car he's been calling home hit by alleged drunk driver
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A Sunday morning vehicle crash in Dickinson has left a 53-year-old Nevada resident wondering where he will sleep after he is released from St. Joseph's Hospital.

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Rudy L. Sanchez was sleeping in his vehicle in the parking lot at Wal-Mart SuperCenter when Ryan J. Nelson, 24, of Missoula, Mont., allegedly crashed his truck into the passenger-side of Sanchez's vehicle, according to the Dickinson Police Department.

Nelson had allegedly been drinking, according to DPD.

"I was rudely awakened at about 1:45 or 2 in the morning when he bashed into the side of my car," Sanchez said. "I tried to sit up and immediately felt sharp pains going down my back and my neck."

Sanchez "blacked out" for a few seconds after trying to sit up, he said.

"I slid behind the passenger seat, my upper torso did, on impact, because that seat wasn't reclined all the way down, just the driver's seat was," Sanchez said

He had to be extricated from his vehicle by the Dickinson city and rural fire departments, according to DPD.

An estimation on how fast Nelson was going was not available, DPD Capt. Joe Cianni said.

"According to the police officer (who was on the scene), there was never even any skid marks," Sanchez said. "I'm angry and frustrated."

Not only did Sanchez lose his vehicle in the crash, he also lost his only shelter.

"I was sleeping in my car because I haven't found a place to live here and every place I've run across is too expensive," Sanchez said. "Now I don't even have a car to sleep in."

He has been working temporary positions in the area for about two months and the incident may have cost him a chance at a permanent position, as well. Sanchez had a job interview he was unable to attend Monday, since he is still being hospitalized.

"The good thing is there was no broken bones, but I got some torn ligaments in my neck and my back, I guess," Sanchez said. "I'm starting to get up and trying to get around but I don't know what I'm going to do when I leave the hospital."

He still needs assistance to get around and is unsure when he will be released from the hospital.

Nelson, who was not injured, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, Cianni said. He was also cited for careless driving, Cianni said.

Nelson posted a $500 bond, according to the Dickinson Municipal Court Office.

Sanchez's vehicle was towed from the scene, but Nelson's was not, according to DPD.

Nelson declined to comment. Attempts to get comment from Wal-Mart were unsuccessful.

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