Drunken drivers

A simple shopping trip with her college roommate landed Erin Dix, 18, in University Hospitals with very serious injuries after being run over in the parking lot of the Wilson Avenue Hy-Vee on Tuesday night. The culprit — a drunken driver.

I thought I should share a comment left on my story by a family member:

While Mr. Sarchett waits to see if he’ll get more charges against him, Erin lays in the burn unit at the University of Iowa hospital fighting the pain of Mr. Sarchett’s stupid mistake.
She suffers from many cuts and lastrations, severe burns from battery acid, a clasped lung, 2 fractures on her lower back, bruised intestines, cuts on her liver…the list of injuries go on and on. She will have a long road to recovery and in excruciating pain.
Thoughts and prayers for Erin’s quick recovery would be greatly appreciated by Erin and her family.
We are hoping for a speedy recovery for you, and can’t wait to see you out of the hospital!
-the Dix Family

Jon Sarchett never had a drunken driving arrest before, according to court records. He actually hadn’t gotten into any trouble with the law since 1997, when he was charged with open container.

It’s a shame that Erin has to pay for his “stupid mistake.” I will try to bring you more about her and her roommate, Brianne Hanson (who, on a side note, went to Woodbury Central High School in Moville, just minutes from my hometown of Sioux City).


Over the Memorial Day weekend, about 18 drunken drivers and 25 people charged with public intoxication were booked into the Linn County Jail. I’ve always found it amusing that many feel the need to celebrate our country’s landmark holidays by getting drunk and causing trouble.

Mostly people were being rowdy at the bar or at home, nothing new there. But two Cedar Rapids men took the celebratory mood a bit farther. Chad Teslick, 28, decided on Monday that he wanted to trash the new Volkswagen dealership on Blairs Ferry Road in Marion. Police said he broke the glass window out of a door in the dealership’s service area and took a van, plowing it through the closed garage door and then damaging several vehicles in the lot. He was arrested for third-degree burglary and public intoxication. The dealership opened its doors little more than a month ago.

On Saturday, Jeffrey Gremm got into a fight with his Century Cabs driver, Thair Alterbal, as Alterbal was taking him to Marion. In the area of 10th Street and Seventh Avenue, police said Gremm, 44, punched Alterbal while he was driving, and Alterbal punched him back. Gremm ran from the car, but Alterbal caught him and they started fighting again. Gremm was arrested on charges of assault causing bodily injury, fifth-degree theft (for not paying his $20+ cab fare) and, you guessed it, public intoxication.

Besides a semi careening off an interstate bridge and an SUV crashing through the front doors of a local gym, Cedar Rapids’ celebration of all things Irish stayed pretty quiet on the crime front. Cedar Rapids police arrested only five people for drunken driving and nine people for public intoxication, all in the downtown area.

It was a Monday, though. Drinking too much Guiness or Bailey’s Irish Cream can make little lads and lassies too green in the face to face the next work day.