Alleged drunken driver hits pole, causes power outage

by: Natasha Chen Updated:

Loading
BURIEN, Wash. —

An alleged drunken driver was arrested early Saturday morning, according to King County sheriff's deputies, after slamming into a pole and causing a power outage for almost 3,000 customers.


The accident happened at about 3:30 a.m. on Des Moines Memorial Drive at 17th Place South.

Efforts to replace two poles and correct downed power lines took most of the day. As of 10 a.m. Saturday, 482 customers were still without power.

Linda Buckingham heard the noise when it happened.

"We heard the three loud 'boom, boom, boom.' And I was like, what the heck? Scared the heck out of me," she said.

Her husband showed KIRO 7 the surveillance video he captured right before the power went out.

Buckingham said, "He was spinning, like that. I mean, he was flying. He was on two wheels, and then he landed into that pole. Then everything went out."

Cynthia Ortega, who also lives down the hill from the accident, called 911.

Her husband went to check on the driver.

"He was totally out of it. I think today, he doesn't even remember what happened last night," Ortega said.

She said that he seemed so intoxicated, he told them his friend Jose was driving, when he was actually alone in the truck.

The passenger said  the truck was crumpled. 

"What if that post would have gone farther away, and how many people live there? Apartments, houses. It could have been a worse thing. A fire, I don't know. The car could have gone in a house," Ortega said.

Neighbors complained that the bend where the accident occurred is often the scene of accidents, with cars sometimes going into poles, fences or trees.

"They need to slow down around here, and quit drinking and driving!" Buckingham said.