Alleged drunk driver smashes into Springfield war artifact

Springfield police said the driver and passenger in the car did not have life-threatening injuries.

Posted: Mar 8, 2021 7:06 PM
Updated: Mar 8, 2021 7:10 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Springfield police said a suspected drunk driver crashed into an artillery piece at the Veterans Memorial Plaza Sunday night.

Police identified the driver of the vehicle as 42-year old Michael Hinds. He was in his car with a passenger.

Springfield resident Steve Andereggen Jr. said he and his dad, Steve Andereggen, restored the 75 mm pack howitzer back in 2015. He claimed that the history of the piece goes farther back than World War II.

Residents said they were shocked when they saw the howitzer was missing from the park on Monday.

"I take the bus five days a week, if not more. It's very strange seeing it gone. It's been here my entire life," said Springfield resident Jeremiah Powers.

Springfield Operations took the howitzer to the Springfield Operations Yard on Monday. Associate manager Ben Gibson said this wasn't easy to do.

"It's pretty tough. It was kind of a symbol of this intersection. It's tough to have to remove it," Gibson said.

Gibson said that the city does plan to fix the piece and have it restored to its original position as soon as possible.

The driver and passenger involved in the car crash were taken to Mckenzie-Willamette Medical Center for treatment but were reported to have no life-threatening injuries.

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