NILES - Police believe a 40-year-old man intended to smash his truck through a St. John Avenue home Wednesday night. One witness said he wore a motorcycle helmet before crashing through one side and out the other of the house, causing massive damage.
Niles police plan to arrest Fred Wild III, 40, on felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated charges with the potential for additional charges pending the investigation, officials said.
Police said Wild lived at the 204 St. John Ave. residence where, just after 6 p.m., his Dodge Ram slammed all the way through the home and crashed out the opposite wall.
Tribune Chronicle / Ashley Newman
A large hole in this home on St. John Avenue in Niles, caused by a pickup truck that drove through the residence Wednesday night, was covered with large pieces of wood board on Thursday. Scattered on the ground is debris from the crash, which police believe was not an accident.
Niles Patrolman Shawn Crank said witnesses spotted Wild driving around the home several times just prior to the crash.
"He was seen on two different occasions sitting in his truck at the end of the street near the house," Crank said. "He'd drive away, then come back."
Finally, Crank said, Wild "just gunned it," driving the truck completely through the house.
Initially, some witnesses on the scene thought it looked like the accelerator was stuck, resulting in an unintentional accident. Crank was clear that investigations did not show a loss of control.
"The accelerator didn't stick," Crank said. "It does not appear to be an accident."
One witness reported that Wild was wearing a motorcycle helmet when he climbed out the truck after the crash.
Police suspect Wild was intoxicated at the time of the wreck.
One possible motive for the crash, according to police, may have been an ongoing domestic dispute.
Wild's wife and son, whose names were not released, do not currently live at the St. John Avenue home, but according to the Trumbull County Auditor's website, the home is owned by Misty D. Wild.
"Apparently, they've been having some problems," Crank said.
Wild was transported to St. Elizabeth Health Center by Lane Ambulance, where he is still being treated, police said.
In October 2012, Wild entered a no contest plea in Warren Municipal Court to misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest and open container. He was fined and sentenced to three years probation.