Suspected drunken driver leaves behind trail of destruction |

Suspected drunken driver leaves behind trail of destruction

A man suspected of driving drunk reportedly careened along Empire Street, hitting a light pole, a wall, a speed limit sign and a stop sign, several vehicles and a power pole, driving through a yard and onto the sidewalk and narrowly missing at least one pedestrian Monday night.

Multiple 911 calls were received regarding the driver, identified as Sean Anthony Saenz, starting at about 7:45 p.m.

“We were on the porch getting ready to load my nieces into the car when he floored it around the corner, smashed into the car and pushed it out of his way into the yard,” said Shanna Moran-Hennefer, who was at a residence on Pine Street with her sister.

“My sister yelled … and he went crazy, he floored it again and hit her second car. He started ramming everything, he drove through the neighbor’s yard in a complete circle. He almost flipped trying to get around a tree, he jumped it into a bush and the mailbox, he was bouncing off everything. It was pretty crazy.”

Grass Valley Police officers responded to East Empire Street and Miners Trail after a caller reported the driver hit a power pole and was trying to leave.

They located the 4Runner with Saenz still inside, said Lt. Alex Gammelgard.

“There were at least seven points of impact along Empire Street,” Gammelgard said, adding that at one point, Saenz hit a parked vehicle, went through a yard and hit a stop sign. “No people were hit or injured.”

Saenz’s blood alcohol level was not yet available but he did not pass a field sobriety test, Gammelgard said.

Officers located unopened bottles of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and Jose Cuervo Gold tequila in Saenz’s vehicle, Gammelgard said.

Saenz — who had been arrested by Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies on March 7 on drunken driving and resisting arrest charges — was booked into county jail on suspicion of hit and run and driving under the influence.

He was released on $24,000 bail.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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