Car crashes into Rochester home, causing $20,000 in damage

The homeowner, who was on the other side of the house, was uninjured, while the driver was taken into custody.

A car drove into Brian McDermott's home on 14th 1/2 St. S.E. in Rochester on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (Rochester Fire Department photo)
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Brian McDermott was reading about rockets in his southeast Rochester home when he thought one struck his house late Thursday night, May 6.

Instead, there was a car lodged into the side of his house.

"Things went flying all the way through the house, past my head, past everywhere," said McDermott, 42. "I got up, looked, and saw a car parked in my basement."

McDermott was uninjured from the crash, and was the only person home at the time.

Rochester Police Department Sgt. Jean Valere said police were called at about 8:05 p.m. He said an altercation had taken place earlier between the driver and another person.


According to police, the driver was inebriated when he got into his vehicle and sped off into the side of McDermott's home. The car also took out a street sign, part of a chain-link fence, as well as a portion of the cement foundation of McDermott's home.

A car drove into Brian McDermott's home on 14th 1/2 St. S.E. in Rochester on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (Rochester Fire Department photo)

The driver, a 47-year-old man, was arrested and taken to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus with non-life-threatening injuries. A search warrant was obtained to draw blood to determine if he was under the influence of an intoxicant.

"I saw what appeared to be an inebriated gentleman slumped over my fence saying, 'I'm sorry, I'm so sorry,'" McDermott said.

He said they would not be staying in the home Thursday night as the Rochester Fire Department worked to remove the car.

"They don't know if when they pull this car out, if the house is going to come down or not," he said.

The Rochester Fire Department determined that structural shoring was needed to make the home safe. Temporary shoring was put in place by the department's structural collapse technicians after a tow truck removed the car.


The crash caused an estimated $20,000 in damage to the home's block foundation wall as well as interior finishings and contents.

Rochester firefighters work at the scene of a car versus house crash near the intersection of 14 1/2 Street Southeast and 6th Avenue in Rochester Thursday, May 6, 2021. According to Sgt. Jean Valere, with the Rochester Police Department, the crash happened after the driver, who police believe was under the influence, sped away after an altercation nearby. According to Sgt. Valere, the driver of the vehicle was transported by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys with non-life threatening injuries. (Joe Ahlquist /

Erich is a digital content producer at the Post Bulletin where he creates content for the Post Bulletin's digital platforms. Before he moved to Rochester, Erich worked as a sports reporter for covering the University of Illinois' athletic programs in Champaign, Illinois. Readers can reach Erich at 507-285-7681 or
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Neither descriptions of the suspect nor information on how many suspects may have been involved was provided by authorities.