Route 66 News

Wayward pickup causes damage at Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel damage 1

A suspected teenage drunken driver caused thousands of dollars in damage to the Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino, California, when his pickup truck veered off the road and destroyed the motel’s front fence, a light pole and other structures early Sunday morning.

The crash happened about 3 a.m. The crash involving the pickup truck also damaged a Route 66 sign and a few plants.

Security camera footage reveals the moment it happened:

Motel operator Kumar Patel estimated the damage at $22,000. Fortunately, he said, the damage did not affect operations, and the Wigwam remains open for overnight travelers.

Wigwam Motel damage 2

Patel said the driver tried to get away, but a security guard at one of the other motels the family owns caught him. Patel said he’d heard from San Bernardino Police the driver did not carry insurance. A police report was not yet available.

The Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino was built in 1949. The motel went through hard times after the interstate bypassed Route 66. But the Patel family restored the landmark to its former glory about a decade ago. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Images and footage courtesy of Kumar Patel and Ken Kanazawa)


2 thoughts on “Wayward pickup causes damage at Wigwam Motel

  1. Steve

    We stayed at the Wigwam the first night on our way through route 66 all the way to Chicago. It was one the many historic motels we stayed in, I am pleased to hear the truck did not trouble the Teepees. Thanks Ron for all things 66.

  2. Gary Coleman

    My GF and I drove through the area on June 22nd, and that was one place I specifically stopped at to snap some photos. Good thing we did then, and not a few days later!

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