BEECHVIEW – A Carrick woman is behind bars after police say she was driving under the influence and crashed into a dance studio on Route 51 shortly before midnight Saturday.
According to court documents obtained by Channel 11, Christine Kuntz, 49, told police that she and her male passenger had just left the casino and got into an argument while driving. Kuntz reportedly told officers his passenger grabbed the steering wheel, forcing the white Kia Sportage off the road.
The vehicle first struck a parked car with two people inside, before crashing into the building. These two passengers were not injured, but Kuntz’s passenger was taken to hospital in critical condition.
The force of the wreckage caused a gaping hole in the building and sent cinder blocks flying through Technique by Toni’s main dance studio.
Landlord Toni Dobransky told Channel 11 she woke up on Sunday to messages from her landlord and her father, who is the building manager.
“My dad kept saying ‘don’t go there, you’re not going to want to see it that bad,'” Dobransky told us.
Ballet bars that had been attached to the wall collapsed.
“Obviously it was late at night, but sometimes we’re here,” she said. “There could have been serious consequences…I’m so glad no one was there.”
Dobransky spoke to Channel 11 on Tuesday. Much of the debris had been cleared, but she is now in charge of repairing the wall. She hopes the repair can be completed within two weeks of the studio closing for the holidays. His students had recently finished their Christmas shows, in the very room where the accident had occurred. If the repairs take longer than expected, the studio has other rooms available to resume classes in the new year.
“Everyone is safe here,” she said. “We are grateful to the first responders who took the time to make sure we were aware…Hopefully those involved are doing well.”
According to court documents, Kuntz refused to go to the hospital and was instead taken to jail. She was charged with driving under the influence and other offences. A lawyer for her was not publicly traded at the time of this article’s publication.
“Because of Kuntz’s statements about [her passenger] taking control of the wheel and causing the accident, this investigation is to be continued… in the meantime [her passenger’s] recovery,” according to the criminal complaint.
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