Car rams into old Newport Town Hall

By WDEL Staff 5:04pm, March 11, 2014 - Updated 7:15pm, March 12, 2014
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports. Video courtesy of NBC 10.
A 33-year-old New Castle man has been charged with drunk driving after he crashed his car into Newport's historic town hall early Tuesday morning, police said.

Charles Ray failed to negotiate a curve and his car crashed into the historic building at 15. N. Augustine St. while he was under the influence of PCP and alcohol, police told NBC 10.

The building, which dates back to the late 1800s and still hosts monthly town meetings, has been deemed "unsafe" by an inspector.

Ray has been released from the hospital and also faces charges of driving while suspended and unsafe speed, police said.

Local residents said collisions and crashes in the area are common.

"If you live here you know what the sound is after a while because it happens here all the time," said Jeff Biscoe of Newport.

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In 2009, DelDOT said warning signs and enforcement were working but most if not all the crashes involved drunk drivers.

Mayor Michael Spencer tells NBC 10 he agrees with that assessment.

"You can't stop it from happening, you just can't. Short of putting of fortress around there, nothing can curb the type of behavior," Spencer said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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