Weather Forecast


High speed crash downtown results in charges

Park Rapids police officer Justin Frette couldn't believe his eyes Wednesday night.

Parked near the intersection of Highways 71 and 34 in Park Rapids, he observed a car go by and crash in the blink of an eye. It was just after midnight.

"Surprisingly he wasn't injured," Police Chief Terry Eilers said of the driver. "Both airbags went. He claimed he was doing 100 mph."

Dale Allen Peterka, 40, Park Rapids, was taken into custody on a Fourth Degree DWI charge.

"He swerved to turn north on 71," Eilers said. "The guys actually witnessed it."

Frette was still shaking his head in disbelief Thursday morning.

"When they asked him how fast he was going, he said '90 or 100. I don't know,'" the chief relayed.

"He locked the brakes up but by the time he hit the pole he was probably doing 30-40 mph," Eilers said. "He was westbound on 34 and turning to head north on 71. He locked the brakes up and lost control. He went over into Nick's (Cenex) Service on that side of the street."

The vehicle was totaled. Both airbags deployed even though there was no passenger.

"He said, 'I have been drinking and I just want to go home,'" the chief said Peterka told officers.

"Later on in his statement he said he thought he was only traveling 70," Eilers said. "Originally he said 90 to 100."

Peterka was booked into the Hubbard County jail and given a blood test.

Ironically, he was on his way to Coborn's during a bomb hoax the next day when Eilers encountered him again and had to shoo him from the parking lot,

The police chief said Peterka was on his way home from jail and had to stop to buy cigarettes.

The store was closed.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364