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UPDATED: Car versus power pole closes Northwest Drive, knocks out power in north Bellingham

Scene of a car versus pole crash on Northwest Drive (March 24, 2022). Photo courtesy of WCFD7

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to the intersection of Northwest Drive and W Smith Road about 4am, Thursday, March 24th, due to a report of a car versus power pole crash.

Initial reports from the scene by fire and police radio transmissions were that a power pole was laying across the road and wires were down south of the intersection.

Scene of a car versus pole crash on Northwest Drive (March 24, 2022). Photo courtesy of WCFD7
Scene of a car versus pole crash on Northwest Drive (March 24, 2022). Photo courtesy of WCFD7

Witnesses reported seeing the driver walking away after the crash.

Whatcom County Fire District 7 Fire Chief Larry Hoffman told Whatcom News law enforcement located the driver nearby and WCFD7 personnel were contacted to assess their condition. The driver did not require transport to the hospital and was released.

Click for more information

Click for more information

Puget Sound Energy reported an outage in the area due to “a car or equipment accident” that impacted 386 PSE customer addresses.

Power outage map. Source: Puget Sound Energy

Northwest Drive was closed to all traffic between Larson Road and W Smith Road while Puget Sound Energy crews were on site making repairs to the downed pole and wires. Signs were in place indicating a detour route via Aldrich Road.

As of 7:15am, PSE estimated power would be restored to the remaining 266 impacted addresses by 2pm. As of 3pm, that estimate had been updated to be 4pm.

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Deb Slater confirmed via email that a vehicle had struck and broke a power pole and sending power lines and a transformer to the ground. The driver told investigators they had fallen asleep while driving southbound on Northwest Drive.

Slater said the driver was cited for driving while wheels were off the roadway and for no proof of insurance. Alcohol or drugs were not considered to be factors in the crash.

This story was updated 1:45pm on March 25th with additional information from WCSO.


  1. checkermarx March 24, 2022

    I’m so impressed by Whatcom News’ coverage that I’m now a paid subscriber. Absolutely the best deal for news for those of us in Whatcom County and the Ferndale area! You won’t see this kind of reporting in any other Bellingham daily rag OR in weekly papers either.

  2. checkermarx March 26, 2022

    Thank you Joe and staff! Do you have a blog?

    • Whatcom News Post author | March 27, 2022

      I’d like to say there are staff but no. No blog either.

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