Surveillance video captured by Joe Hanna’s security camera shows it all. A car smashed right through the front of a Black Diamond gift store Thursday.
“I heard the crash,” he said. “I thought it was a bomb or something.”
The driver never appeared to hit the brakes as she punched a huge hole in the storefront of the Black Bear Outpost gift shop. A sign in the front window indicated the store was supposed to have its grand opening in just seven days.
When police arrived on the scene they found the driver, 58-year-old Laura Kelsch, in an adjoining liquor store. They gave her a field sobriety test, which she failed. A breathalyzer registered nearly three times the legal limit. Witnesses say she appeared dazed and confused.
“It looked like she’d had a stroke or something,” said Robin McNeill, who own MJ Vapors in the same strip mall.
Police arrested Kelsch, but because there wasn't room at the local jail, they impounded her car and gave her a ride home. Keep in mind, this all started at 11:00 in the morning, but the story doesn’t end there.
“Oh, my God, she's back,” thought MacNeill.
Witnesses say about an hour after being released, Kelsch drove her husband's truck right back to the same liquor store. Somebody called police and investigators determined she was still drunk. They arrested her again and towed the truck. It was her second DUI arrest in just a few hours.
A search of court records found no other drunk driving offenses for Kelsch in Washington. To people working in the busy strip mall, it isn't the audacity as much as it is the outrageous disregard for people's safety.
“At first I was angry,” said Mac Neill. “She could've hit any one of us walking back and forth. Now I pity her.”
“That was blessing from God that nobody got hurt,” added Joe Hanna. “She is obviously a very sick woman.”
The woman has been booked into the Issaquah Jail.