Man identified who crashed into a historic 1868 Evansville home

Local News

Evansville, Ind. (WEHT) – We now know the name of the man who police say crashed a truck into a historic home in downtown Evansville home early Saturday morning.

Police say 29-year-old Adrian Offutt was taken to St. Vincent Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

They say he has not been cooperative with police while in the E.R.

That home at 414 Riverside Drive was built in 1868.

Only Eyewitness News was on the scene moments after the accident happened.

“We were out here with a bunch of the local people, they were here right after it happen from what I was told, the guy hit the median out there end up jumping 20 or 30 feet and landed in the grass on the other side and hit the building right there behind us, said Jessie Bitter who was at the scene after the crash.

Evansville Dispatchers received a report around 12:30 Saturday morning of a truck inside a house in the 400 block of Riverside Drive.

Officers at the scene said a person fell asleep behind the wheel.

“So I could see him laying on the stretcher but of course I didn’t want to get up close to anything, from what I heard from everyone else he woke up to it, he remember nothing else from the night and just woke up to laying on that stretcher” Bitter said.

Police say the impact of the accident jolted the Offutt awake.    ​

Offutt then over corrected and veered into the home demolishing three floors.

The former Historic Preservation Officer for Evansville is hopeful the home can be fully repaired.

Dennis Au, said “This will impact the entire neighborhood for the Riverside Neighborhood Association” saying “This is much kin to the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in France.”    

The home was built by an Italian architect in 1868.
It took two years to build.

A member of the Reitz family lived in the home in 1898.

“Its Gorgeous piece of work, it is part of the soul of Evansville, its these house that give Evansville a certain personality of place” said Au. 

There’s no word if charges will be filed against Offutt. 
Police can not tow that truck until the Building Commission can deem the house safe. 

The homeowner says the house was vacant because it’s currently under-going renovations.

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(This story was originally published on May 25, 2019)

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