Driver hits pole, causes a power outage
An unidentified female driver crashed a light-colored Chevrolet Tahoe into a pole on West Morton Avenue late Saturday morning, causing a power outage.
The 11:30 a.m. crash left area residents without power until well after dark on Saturday night.
Firefighters were originally called to the scene for reports of a tree on fire.
“The power lines were sparking. The tree was not on fire,” said Lieutenant Mike McGill of the Porterville Fire Department, who helped to block off the streets.
McGill said the driver crashed into the pole and by the time he arrived on scene she was out of the vehicle.
“She must have got out on her own. The ambulance dealt with the patient and took her to Sierra View District Hospital,” McGill said.
Shirley Crawford, who lives across the street and a few doors down from the crash site, witnessed the accident.
“I was standing on the sidewalk and I heard a big crash,” she said. “A green van got hit and then the driver hit the pole and the telephone pole dropped and the lines started swaying. It was freaky.”
Crawford said the driver appeared to be driving at a high rate of speed, and after the crash the tree was sparking. She heard two explosions.
According to Crawford, police did not take her statement. Her home was without power as late as 9 p.m. on the night of the accident. In the aftermath of the crash, Southern California Edison workers cut down the affected lines.
McGill had some advice for anyone who finds themselves in a situation involving downed utility wires.
“If you have power lines down near the vehicle, don’t get out,” he said. “You could get electrocuted.”