Drunk driver knocks out power to hundreds of homes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Drunk driver knocks out power to hundreds of homes

Posted: Updated:
November 8, 2012 -

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Kennewick Police said a drunk driver is lucky he wasn't badly hurt after crashing his truck into a power pole.

Police said around 1 on Thursday morning, 23 year old Merit Henderson veered off the road on 4th Avenue west of Columbia Center Boulevard, causing a blackout for hundreds of homes and businesses over a two mile radius.

Crews from Bonneville Power restored electricity within a few hours, and spent the morning replacing the pole that connected a 115,000 volt line to a substation.

"The dangers really are for the public before we get there," said Greg Wilfond, a lineman with Bonneville Power, "because by chance the line is still energized you know where someone can walk into it, touch it, drive under it, anytime a power line is down just stay away."

Officer Stan Howard of the Kennewick Police Department said, "If you drive drunk this is one of the things that could happen. He's lucky he didn't kill himself or somebody else more importantly."

Police said Henderson suffered some minor bumps and bruises in the crash. He's now facing DUI charges, and could see financial repercussions for property damage.

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