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Car vs pole crash leaves thousands in Birch Bay area without power, driver taken to hospital

BIRCH BAY, Wash. — About 12:10am, Monday, April 11th, first responders were dispatched to a report of a car versus power pole crash in the 4700 block of Birch Bay-Lynden Road.

Approximate location of the crash

North Whatcom Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Jason Van der Veen told Whatcom News firefighters arrived to find the crash had sheared the pole, leaving the pole and live wires across the road and the vehicle. The smoking vehicle caught fire but, due to the live wires, firefighters were unable to extinguish the fire until Puget Sound Energy (PSE) crews arrived to shut off the power.

The driver was transported by ambulance to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

PSE reported a power outage due to a car crash began about 12:50am leaving 3,363 PSE customer addresses without power in the immediate area for about an hour.

PSE Spokesperson Melanie Coon told Whatcom News via email that the lines were de-energized at 12:50am for safety purposes while the “service crew isolated the area for switching operations.” The pole will be replaced but it was secure enough to bring power to the circuits again. Power was restored about 1:40am.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash. WCSO Chief Deputy Rodger Funk told Whatcom News via email that the crash occurred while the car was driving on Birch Bay-Lynden Road and no other vehicles were involved. “Alcohol is believed to be a factor and the collision is being investigated as a DUI. The investigation is not yet complete.”

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