At approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday, David Miller, a recent Miami graduate, was walking back to his girlfriend’s apartment at the Miami Village Apartments. His night took an unexpected turn when he heard a loud noise and saw a wall of dust.
“It sounded like a bomb went off,” Miller said. “But I realized that was probably pretty unlikely.”
Miller and his girlfriend ran across the parking lot to the source of the noise. A car had driven through the wall of the building and into an apartment on the first floor, all the way to the trunk. The front two tires were resting on the bed belonging to the apartment’s resident.
“The person who lived there worked at 45 [East Bar & Grill], so they were still at work. If someone had been there, they definitely would have died,” Miller said.
Miller, who worked at Miami for two years as a resident assistant, checked the apartment to see if anyone was home. He called 911 as he watched the driver and passenger climb out of the car.
“Their arms were all bloody. They climbed out the side and onto the top of the car. They were obviously hammered,” Miller said. “It was such a weird thing to watch. They started wandering around and trying to walk away.”
The car had dragged the guardrail up to the side of the building and Miller had the driver and passenger stay against it until the police came.
“I’m sure the 911 call would be hilarious to listen to. I was trying to explain what happened, and at the same time I was yelling at them to stay put,” Miller said.
The Oxford Police arrived four or five minutes later. In all, there were about six police cars, two wreckers, an ambulance and a fire truck, according to Miller.
“I was very thankful for my RA training,” Miller said. “It helped me stay calm and handle the situation.”
Police reports indicate that the white Chevy Malibu split the guardrail at the intersection of Campus Avenue and Chestnut Street. The car drove into apartment 114 and came to rest on the bed.
The driver, Justin Rauss, 21, had some cuts on his hands. Rauss had no other visible signs of injury and refused transportation to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital. The responding officer smelled alcohol on Rauss’ breath and realized he had slurred speech and at times was incoherent, according to reports. Rauss was wearing wristbands from bars and claimed he had nothing to drink. He failed several sobriety checks and was arrested on charges of drunk driving.. When police checked Rauss’ car, they found a pipe under the driver’s seat with residue of marijuana in it. Rauss was also charged with having drug paraphernalia.