Update: SUV crashes into Five Corners garage

Motorist faces OUI, negligent operation charges.

A garage door was struck and damaged early Saturday morning at Five Corners. -Dave Plath

Updated June 21 

The driver of a Toyota Highlander faces drinking and driving and other charges after a crash in Vineyard Haven left a roadside garage partially smashed.

Aurora Austin pleaded not guilty Monday morning in Edgartown District Court to OUI, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and marked lanes violation charges brought by Tisbury Police. Austin was arrested Saturday morning in the parking lot of Harbor Landing Resort after allegedly failing field sobriety tests and a preliminary Breathalyzer test. Austin was given a bail warning, and released on personal recognizance. 

At about 5:30 am Saturday, Tisbury Police were called to AA Island Auto Rentals at Five Corners for a report of a property damage hit-and-run by a Toyota Highlander. While en route, officers learned the driver of the Highlander called to relay that she’d been involved in an accident, a report indicates. 

Police located the motorist outside Harbor Landing Resort, which is a short distance away from the damaged garage.

Tisbury Police Officer Pierce Harrer noticed “a large amount of damage” to the Highlander, a report states. 

Austin allegedly told police “she glanced at her cell phone, resulting in her inability to properly navigate the slight curve onto Beach Street,” a police report states.

Police repeatedly asked Austin if she required medical attention, but she declined, according to a report.

“Despite both Ms. Austin and I,” Officer Harrer wrote in a report, “standing outside on a breezy morning, I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her person.The odor increased as she spoke. I observed Ms Austin’s eyes to be extremely bloodshot and glassy, and her speech was thick-tongued and slightly slurred; she swayed back and forth while standing.”

Austin denied consuming alcohol, according to a report.

Austin allegedly consented to a preliminary breath alcohol test which allegedly resulted in a test result of .159. Later at the Dukes County Jail, a subsequent test allegedly showed a .14 result.

Reached by phone Monday afternoon, Austin’s attorney, Drew Segadelli, said his client was forthright in calling police. Segadelli characterized the incident as a “relatively minor collision” stemming from inattentiveness. 

Tisbury Fire Chief Greg Leland responded to the scene, and previously told The Times the motorist didn’t require extrication and didn’t appear to suffer injury. Representatives from Tisbury’s building department and from Eversource also responded to the scene, according to a report. 

Austin is expected back in court on July 16. 


  1. I am happy to hear the just certified Tisbury Police, judged so by that blue ribbon panel, have exercised all the values and ideals of open transparency in their actions.
    Because everyone knows suppressing news a vehicle crashing very publicly into a 5 Corners building is either an off-duty law enforcement official or a matter of national security.

  2. Maybe the newly certified/bonafide police department, if they don’t want to comment, could at least provide some traffic control. One of their very own certified/bonafide officers could stand in the actual intersection and direct cars, instead of walking around town looking at their cell phones or sitting in their hybrid police cars looking at their cell phones, unless of course there are new training videos on tik-tok that we have all missed on progressive policing in America.

  3. How about just addressing the irresponsible actions of the driver instead using this as a way to snark at our island law enforcement. I know that’s in Vogue off island but we like to support the efforts our police officers in every town here. How about just restricting this stuff to Twitter where it belongs. It’s going to be a long summer. Thanks.

    • Amen. I’m still waiting on that update, too.

      Could the driver be Connected/Protected, or perhaps a [Person without a Driver’s License]?

      The police can be less than forthcoming with public information, if it suits their interests, or their masters’.

  4. Jean Kelleher, it remains “in Vogue” on-island and off-island that a towns police officers are expected to not destroy police cruisers, lie about cases, generate an interminable number of inter-departmental lawsuits, financial improprieties, corrupt treatment of other police officers, I could go on forever.
    One citizens “snark” is another citizens transparency and meaningful oversight.

    • So James– May I bring up the off topic fact that there is a certain twice impeached loser ex president and nearly his entire immediate family who is facing criminal corruption charges and potential jail time ? You seem upset that an official would lie and feel the need to bring that up on this thread….Interesting —–
      Stay on topic , please.

  5. I don’t understand the insinuations. Was the SUV driver an off-duty cop? How is it possible that “police couldn’t immediatedly be reached” for more details? I thought it was easy to reach the police.

  6. Why is it so important to know who it was and really, attack the police, you really have to be kidding! Read a book of something, find more to do.

  7. It would be so nice to have a traffic cop there during the peak season. Why must they not do anything but walk around – I don’t get why they can’t direct traffic at 5 corners. Increasing safety should be a priority here so directing traffic at 5 corners is a start.

    • Rena– while 5 corners is a mess, I don’t know that is particularly unsafe.
      I have been living here for 34 years, and have never heard of a fatality at this intersection.
      Very few fender benders, and an occasional pedestrian is bumped at low speeds with minor injuries.
      They tried directing traffic there a few ago– it was a disaster.

    • Rena, if police were assigned to that post at Five Corners, their skeletal structure would look like that door frame.
      Like that car which rocketed into the Fish Market years ago, set up a speed trap in a safe place for the drunks returning from our responsible licensed establishments in OB, and make Five Corners safe again for buildings and people.

  8. ” I don’t get why they can’t direct traffic at 5 corners. Increasing safety should be a priority here so directing traffic at 5 corners is a start.”

    I seem to recall that this has been tried, and the drivers collectively turned out to be smarter than the one cop trying to tell them what to do and when to go.

    I consider Five Corners a test of “hive” intelligence. Kind of like the intersection at State Road and the VH-Edgartown Road. It is a marvel to behold how both this intersection and Five Corners provide live evidence of the reality of “theory of mind.”

  9. Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster– are there really people here that think a traffic control officer at 5 corners is a good idea ?
    we have seen that, and it is a disaster—

  10. Any policeman/woman/person would be risking his/her life trying to direct traffic there. Fender benders would be much more acceptable. People do manage to make it through somehow with a minimal amount of chaos, in my experience.

  11. not that this has anything to do with a drunk driver at 5:30 am– but I think that intersection should have 5 yield signs rather than 3 stop signs. And a roundabout would be a complete disaster– cops directing traffic is a really lame idea– no offense intended to the police–
    having said all that— I wonder why there is no mug shot of the alleged offender–
    Has anyone noticed that the only mug shots the times puts up are people of color ?
    What the fence, George ?

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