Man arrested after gas-spewing crash |

Man arrested after gas-spewing crash

Adam Jensen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – South Lake Tahoe police arrested a 26-year-old Colorado man Friday morning on suspicion of drunken driving after he allegedly ran into a hotel and broke a natural gas main.

About 8:30 a.m. Ronald MacKenzie, 26, was driving a Toyota Tundra north on La Salle Street at an estimated 40 mph when he attempted to make a left hand turn onto Cedar Avenue without slowing down, said Sgt. Shannon Laney in a statement.

Because of his speed, MacKenzie lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the back of the Ski Haus Lodge on the 900 block of Park Avenue, Laney said.

“The Toyota stuck a natural gas main that was spewing gas into the lodge and the odor could be smelled a block away,” Laney said. “Thanks to the quick response of emergency personnel, disaster was adverted and the gas main was shut off before it could ignite.”

The lodge and the nearby Economy Inn & Suites were evacuated while emergency crews secured the gas main and cleared out contaminated rooms.

A preliminary breath test at the scene showed MacKenzie had a blood alcohol concentration of .11 percent, more than the legal limit of .08 percent.

He was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe for treatment of minor injuries and arrested. It is unknown if he has an attorney.

The speed limit on Park and Cedar avenues is 25 mph.

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