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Drunk driver hits house, narrowly misses childTell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
Backyard tracks lead to the house
Photo by George Lauby
Bricks on a bedroom floor illustrate the point of impact.
Photo by George Lauby
The damaged Dodge pickup. A piece of the car was left behind, hooked above the tire.
Photo by George Lauby
The path out of Jones's yard, through his fence.
Photo by NP police report
Path of destruction

A drunken driver narrowly missed a child sleeping in her bed on the west side of North Platte in the early hours Sunday.

Benjamin Beauvais, 21, is in jail, charged with leaving the scene of two wrecks and driving under the influence.

Beauvais hit Heidi Hart's Dodge pickup parked alongside the curb at 920 So. Buffalo, then made a U turn, swung across the street through a vacant lot and backyard fence, and kept going right into the back of the house at the corner of Philip and Buffalo.

The front of the car went through the brick wall of the house, next to a bed where a two-year-old girl was sleeping, breaking the bedroom window in the process.

Ryan Jones, who owns the house, said noise of the collision around 3:30 a.m. first woke his wife, who grabbed the still-sleeping girl and called police. As Jones awoke, he heard a prolonged horn honk, perhaps from the driver slumped against the horn.

Beauvais backed out of the house and drove off, tearing out the west fence in the backyard as he went.

The car went south on Buffalo Bill Ave. across the South Platte River Bridge and Interstate 80. Police found the car broken down and the driver in a field near Eugene and Buffalo.

Beauvais is held on $10,000 bond, charged with three misdemeanors.

Jones told the Bulletin that the car damaged the air conditioning system of the house, ruined a computer inside and possibly cracked the entire wall.

Police estimated the damage at $10,000.

Jones and his father and father-in-law temporarily patched the back of the house Sunday morning with wood and plastic, pending an evaluation by an insurance company.

Hart's pickup was damaged to the tune of $9,000, according to the police report.

Beauvais served 110 days in the Lincoln County Jail in 2011 for minor in possession and marijuana distribution.


It was the second of two busy nights for the North Platte Police. Around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, a man fired shots in 400 block of S. Chestnut and held police at bay for nearly an hour and a half by threatening his live-in girlfriend. The man, Justin Valentine, 23, finally surrendered.

He is in jail, held on a $100,00 bond, charged with four felonies -- firing a weapon, use of a weapon to commit a felony, terroristic threats and attempted second-degree assault.

This report was updated Monday morning.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 1/20/2013
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