Boise & Garden City

DUI suspect crashed into 4 Boise florist vans in one incident

Drunk driver smashes flower shop vans

More than a month and a half ago, four Hillcrest Floral vans were damaged in a car crash. Today, the family-run business is still facing challenges.
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More than a month and a half ago, four Hillcrest Floral vans were damaged in a car crash. Today, the family-run business is still facing challenges.

“What did you back into?”

A man yelled that question at Nick Harrigfeld on Tuesday afternoon, as he stood outside Hillcrest Floral in the shopping plaza at Overland and Orchard streets on the Boise Bench.

It’s a question the longtime florist has been getting a lot over the past month — as customers and passersby wonder why four of his small fleet of business vans look like they’ve been through a demolition derby.

The back of one van is smashed in, the window broken and the bumper falling off, while the driver’s side of another van is crushed. Those two vehicles are essentially totaled, Harrigfeld said. A third has been fixed and another awaits repair.

In an unusual crash that left their owner with a mess, the four Hillcrest Floral vans were struck as they sat in the lot on a Sunday morning in early June. Harrigfeld has been frustrated trying to get compensation from the driver’s insurance company but he’s trying to look on the bright side.

“The way I look at it, it’s going to cost me — but you know what? No one was killed. No one was hurt,” Harrigfeld said. “It could have been devastating.”

The 27-year-old Boise driver who hit the vans, Eduardo Munoz Ramirez, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DUI and possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and was booked into the Ada County Jail. He was still sitting in the driver’s seat of the 2007 Nissan Titan when police arrived, according to court documents.

A responding Boise police officer said Munoz Ramirez had bloodshot and glassy eyes, and his breath had the odor of alcohol. He told police he drank 15 beers the previous day. In breath tests, he blew .133 and .136 blood-alcohol content, above the legal limit of .08 BAC.

A white substance was found rolled up in two dollar bills that Munoz Ramirez had. He told police it was meth, and it tested “presumptive positive” as meth at the scene. Munoz Ramirez has a prior misdemeanor DUI conviction in Boise from 2011 but he received a withheld judgment, an opportunity to petition the court to have the conviction dismissed if he successfully completed probation.

The crash was reported just before 7:30 a.m. June 4. Witnesses told police that they saw a vehicle speed through the shopping mall parking lot, jump a curb, plow through a raised flower bed and then slam into the parked Hillcrest Floral vehicles.

Harrigfeld said the vehicle came in from the Overland side of the lot, near the building that houses an Idaho Pizza Company.

“He just missed a light pole,” the florist said. His four vans were parked as a group, with two parked behind the other two. The collision locked Munoz Ramirez’s pickup onto one of his vans, Harrigfeld said.

Munoz Ramirez is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at the Ada County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, according to online court records.

Harrigfeld said he isn’t following the case.

“We can’t worry about anything that’s happened. We’re getting stuff fixed to keep going,” he said. “I hope the person [Munoz Ramirez] learns something from this.”

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller