Crashes Becoming Too Common on Sharp Curve in Des Moines Neighborhood

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DES MOINES, Iowa — A drunk driver wreaked havoc along a street in Beaverdale, and neighbors say it’s not the first time they have had problems with drivers on that road.

A crash Saturday morning created a rude awakening for neighbors in the 3200 block of Leado Avenue.  “We just heard a loud bang and saw sparks right outside our living room window,” said Courtney Glenney.

“It sounded like a demolition derby. I was afraid to look out here,” said Bill Harrison.

Shocking to most, it is a noise and damage that is becoming all too familiar for those residents. Shortly after 1:30 a.m. Saturday, the Des Moines Police Department says 43-year-old Charles Walker was driving east on Leado Avenue when he failed to navigate the curve and lost control.  He barreled through two sections of fencing at Glenney’s home and multiple front yards.

“They are very sturdy. I believe they are railroad ties with the cables and everything. It takes a lot to go through them,” said Glenney.

The police report says Walker admitted he was driving too fast.

Witnesses say Walker attempted to drive off before his car broke down in the nearby Prospect Park Market parking lot where he was arrested after police noticed an odor of alcohol on his breath and charged him with an OWI.

“It’s happened before. That’s why that fence is like it is with the railroad ties and posts and half inch cable through it,” said Harrison, who lives across the street.

Residents in the neighborhood say Walker isn’t the only one to wreck his vehicle on their property, but he’s just one of the few to get caught.

“I’ve tried to contact the city to put up speed bumps and stuff but people need to just slow down and be more aware of signs. It says 20 miles an hour,” Harrison said.

While the debris remains fresh from Saturday’s crash, a reminder from a similar crash a year ago is visible across the street. An electrical box was damaged when a car lost control on the curve last winter and has yet to be replaced.

“They just come right around the corner and wipe out and end up flying by and keep on going. They always do. If they can get out and move, they are gone,” Harrison said.

It’s become a problem neighbors hope the city can be equally fast at fixing before it becomes deadly.  “With the bike trail right there, it isn’t safe for kids and families that are using it when they are flying down the street constantly,” said Glenney.

Police say Walker refused a breathalyzer test at the scene and at the Polk County Jail but admitted to having beer and a few mixed drinks a few hours before the accident.


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