A U.S. Marine has paid $200 in fines after pleading guilty to charges of driving on the wrong side of the road in Lake Havasu City. But as Lake Havasu City faces the daunting task of repairing damage he allegedly caused to the city’s most famous landmark during that incident, a felony indictment could be on the way.
As of this week, three sections of granite railing remained covered in tarp by city officials, following a July collision involving 24-year-old New York resident Adam N. Carpenter. According to statements last week by Lake Havasu City Manager Jess Knudson, the damage could cost an estimated $235,000 to repair. Knudson said the bridge was insured, and the cost of repairs to taxpayers will be the city’s $1,000 deductible. Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith says prosecutors are waiting for an official declaration by the city as to the cost of damages before Carpenter is indicted on felony charges of property destruction.
Carpenter was arrested July 3 after police say he drove while intoxicated, and allegedly sideswiped at least two vehicles while crossing the London Bridge. According to police, Carpenter’s vehicle only stopped when it crashed through three sections of granite railing that adorned the bridge. When responding officers arrived, police say the front end of Carpenter’s truck was suspended over the edge of the bridge, 40 feet above the Bridgewater Channel.
According to the police report, Carpenter was visibly intoxicated at the scene, and allegedly admitted to drinking alcohol prior to driving. Carpenter agreed to perform a series of field sobriety tests, the report said, but was unable to complete them. He was charged with suspicion of DUI and transported to Lake Havasu City Jail, where his blood-alcohol concentration was recorded at about 0.193%.
When later questioned about the incident, Carpenter did not appear to know the historical significance of the structure he allegedly damaged. According to the report, Carpenter could ultimately be held responsible for the cost of repairs to the London Bridge.
On July 14, Carpenter pleaded guilty to charges of failure to drive on the right side of the road. According to Lake Havasu Municipal Court records, he was fined $200.
According to the Mohave County Attorney’s Office, Carpenter may be indicted on felony charges when prosecutors receive an official estimate from Lake Havasu City officials for the cost of damages.