Second car crashes into Chamber one year later

Photos by Sarah Brown

Skid marks reveal the path taken of a truck that rammed into the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce building on the evening of March 22, 2024. Just one year and three weeks earlier, on March 1, 2023, Johnathan M. Davis, of Salem, crashed into the Chamber, ultimately moving two walls within the building and displacing staff for a year. He was sentenced in January 2024 for second degree criminal mischief and failure to perform the duties of a driver for property damage, but the charge of reckless driving was dismissed.

In addition to insurance coverage, the Chamber very recently obtained funding through the county and city to fix the old building and update the space for a more modern and practical use. Construction workers started renovating the building about a month ago.

Staff at Lebanon Police Department reported Jesus Hilario Cabuto, 18, was under the influence of alcohol when he was traveling north on Park Avenue and lost control when he negotiated the corner near Elmore Street too fast. He crashed into the building at 8:03 p.m. Cabuto is being charged with a misdemeanor DUII.

Chamber Director Rebecca Grizzle said she was called at 8:24 p.m. on March 1 about the recent incident. She watched as police arrested the driver and said there’s suspicion he was impaired. Given that the building has been struck twice in a year, Grizzle said she will consider placing boulders in front of the building to protect it.