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DUI drivers slam into eye office 3 times in 30+ years

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POSTED January 5, 2018 1:18 a.m.

Fred Stellhorn seems destined to have the only drive-in optometry office in Manteca and it is definitely by accident.
Early Saturday morning — for the third time since he built the office building in the 1980s that houses his practice on Fremont Avenue where Center Street T-intersects with it — a drunken driver in the wee hours has managed to plow into his optometry office.
The latest didn’t go to the other side of the waiting room as the previous driver did when they slammed into an adjoining office, but they did score the most damage in terms of overall losses.
Stellhorn this time lost more than $150,000 in equipment that was damaged.
The incident in 2012 caused the most structural damage. In that case the driver fled the scene and reported their car stolen before fessing up to police the next day.
Stellhorn shared how he got a call from the alarm company and switched to his remote video. Initially he didn’t see anything amiss until he saw a Manteca Police officer walking across his waiting room.
The driver, who fled the scene and was later arrested at the Waffle Shop on North Main Street, was charged with driving under the influence. To give an idea of how fast they were going in what was described as a small car, after they struck the curb while running the stop sign on eastbound Center Street they apparently became airborne for close to 20 feet before skid marks appeared.
Unlike the last DUI incident, the driver managed to avoid Stellhorn’s sign near the curb before entering the building.
A quick clean-up and response from Road Runner Glass allowed Stellhorn to see all of his patients scheduled for Saturday as well during the past week.
DUI drivers have actually run the stop sign four times in the past 35 plus years that includes two in the past decade that involved slamming into the building.
The other time involved a Corvette that ended up hitting the city trash container at a high rate of speed. The building was saved but the Corvette disintegrated into hundreds if not thousands of pieces.
“We were picking plastic pieces (from the Corvette) in flower beds for weeks after words,” Stellhorn recalled of that incident.

Plenty of Manteca
High Buffalo touches
grace  Raymus model
home at Rina’ Grove
It’s not your imagination if you get the feeling there is a huge Manteca High influence at the Starla model home that’s in the latest Raymus Homes: The Next Generation neighborhood now under construction in south Manteca.
Georgiann Rose of Spaces — the Manteca interior design firm Raymus uses to make their model homes even more appealing — made sure there was plenty of Buffalo green throughout.
And in case you might think it isn’t Manteca High green one of the secondary bedrooms staged as if it were a teen boy’s room has an Honor the Code Manteca High pillow as well as on-wall art of a football player in a Buffalo jersey seen from the back side with the name “Raymus” and No. 11 emblazoned on it.
A unique second floor whiskey room with brick work by mason Brian Gipson also displays cigar boxes from the collection of Manteca native and former Buffalo Ron LaFranchi.
It should be noted students from the neighborhood are in the Manteca High attendance area.
The neighborhood off South Main Street that is now on the southern end of Manteca south of the Woodward West neighborhood is named for Rina Brocchini whose husband Al for years had an almond orchard where homes are now spouting up.
Rina Drive — the name of the main entrance street — appropriately crosses Albert Way near the heart of the neighborhood. All of the other streets are named after Al and Rina’s grandchildren.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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