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Driver cited in Wall Street power pole crash that blacked out 1,100


A Bend man was cited for reckless driving Wednesday night after he veered off Wall Street and sheared off a power pole while reaching for a cellphone, officers said. The crash damaged an adjacent building, blacked out more than 1,100 Pacific Power customers and closed the road for several hours during repairs and pole replacement.

Police and fire crews responded around 7:45 p.m. to Northwest Wall Street and Portland Avenue for a reported power line transformer explosion, police Lt. Clint Burleigh said.

They learned a gray 1995 Jeep Cherokee driven by Cameron Cox, 27, had crashed into the power pole next to Wall Street Storage, causing it to shear off and topple into the building, causing an estimated several thousand dollars in damage, Burleigh said.

Pacific Power spokesman Ry Schwark said the crash and pole damage knocked out power to 1,132 customers. He said repair crews were able to isolate the problem and restore power to all but 21 customers in just under an hour, but that it would take several more hours to replace the pole and fully restore service.

According to Burleigh, Cox told police he was driving south on Wall Street and reaching for a cellphone when he took both hands from the steering wheel, veered off the road and crashed into the power pole. Impairment is not believed to be a factor at this time, Burleigh added.

Cox was cited for reckless driving and criminal mischief.

Wall Street was closed through the night between Lafayette and Portland avenues for the power pole replacement, Burleigh said. Bend street crews assisted with the road closures and to ensure the safety of repair crews.

“The Bend Police Department wants to remind drivers that focusing on the roadways, no matter what time of day or night, is extremely important to the safety of our citizens,” Burleigh wrote in a news release. “Maintaining control of your vehicle will give you a better chance of staying safe as you travel on our community roadways.”

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