Carson school board member cited for hit-and-run with fence
October 30, 2007
A Carson City school board member was cited Saturday for an early-morning accident in which he struck a fence and then left the scene.
Joe Enge was contacted at his home two blocks from the scene and two hours after the accident was reported when his license plate was recovered from the road amid fence debris.
“I was driving home late Saturday morning. I was tired. I must have dozed off, hit the curb and hit a fence,” said Enge on Tuesday afternoon.
Enge said he had not been drinking, but was getting back into Carson from “out of town” when the accident occurred about 5:45 a.m. on Southridge Court off Northridge Drive.
“I couldn’t tell which house the fence belonged to because the fence was on one street and the house was on another street and it was dark and late and I was obviously fatigued. It was not practical to even find this house this late, so I went home,” he said.
Homeowner Rudy Schmid, a self-proclaimed early riser, said he was just heading back to his Southridge home from Starbucks when his wife called him because she heard a “horrendous” noise in their backyard. As Schmid came upon the scene, he could see that 32 feet of fence line had been driven through and whomever had driven through it had dragged wooden planks for two houses. While cleaning up the debris, and after a car had driven through it and gotten a flat tire, Schmid said he found a license plate.
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According to Sheriff’s Lt. Bob White, a deputy determined the plate was registered to Enge, and went to Enge’s Ridgeway Court home. After a short discussion, Enge was cited for hit-and-run.
Enge said he always planned to return to the house in daylight and take care of the matter.
“I don’t want this to be a legal matter. My vehicle did do it …” he said. “I didn’t want to deal with a criminal matter, because I intended and I did contact (the homeowners).”
Enge said he didn’t think to call the police after hitting the fence because, “I’ve actually never hit a fence before so I’m not sure how that works.”
Schmid said he and Enge have since discussed that Enge’s insurance will cover the cost of damages.
“Obviously I’m an honest guy trying to do the right thing,” Enge said.
White said the hit-and-run citation is about a $500 fine.
“This matter could have easily been resolved and a lot less expensive for Mr. Enge if he stopped at the scene of the crime,” Schmid said.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.