Student faces charges
Decorah Police responded to a car accident on Luther Campus at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 20.
Responding Officer Jim Frost wrote in his description of the incident that the witness told him Daniel Mendoza (‘15) was seen “…driving down Dike Rd below Dieseth Hall on Luther College campus at a high rate of speed and lost control of his vehicle, jumped the curb and struck a parked Jeep and pushed it into two other vehicles and bounced off across the drive aisle and crash [sic] into another parked vehicle pushing it into two other parked vehicles before coming to a rest.”
Courtesy of Mercedes Martin
The report then states that witnesses saw Mendoza exit the vehicle through the driver window.
“It is my opinion that the defendant was intoxicated and too impaired to operate a motor vehicle safely,” Frost wrote in the report of the incident.
Following the incident, Mendoza was observed by Frost to be unresponsive to “pain stimulus,” and was taken to the emergency room at Winneshiek Medical Center where a blood sample was taken. BAC results are unavailable at this time.
Mendoza has been charged with OWI.
Briana Shekels (‘15), Holly Williams (‘15) and Paige Clark (‘15) were called to the scene around midnight because their cars were hit.
“I haven’t estimated the cost of the damage yet but I’m pretty sure the money I get from insurance will not cover all of the damages,” Shekels said. Shekels drives a red Jeep, which was the first car struck.
Courtesy of Sam Gathje
In addition to legal ramifications, Luther College could charge Mendoza with violating the Luther Code of Conduct. Students found to be drinking underage or damaging property in the college or community are in violation of the Luther Code of Conduct and are subject to disciplinary action by Luther. Vice President and Dean of Student Life Corey Landstrom declined to comment because of Luther’s ongoing investigation.
Mendoza was also arrested in Sept. and has pled not guilty to the charge of ‘Burglary in the 2nd Degree’ with the defense of ‘intoxication,’ according to the Iowa District Court records.
Mendoza was unavialable for comment.