Around 1,100 customers were without power in Merced after a vehicle crashed into a power pole around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday near Teak and Madroan avenues.
Details about the crash are preliminary. A 49-year-old woman driving a Chevy Captiva crashed into the power pole. No other occupants were inside the vehicle, and no other vehicles were involved. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the case.
According to the CHP, the woman was driving eastbound on Teak Avenue and had taken taken her eyes off the road. She looked back and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle traveled in a northeast direction and drove over the curb. The vehicle then collided with a mailbox and a power pole. The pole was severed as a result of the impact.
Merced police officers and firefighters arrived first at the scene. According to Merced police, the woman told paramedics that her water bottle rolled near the gas pedal. She tried to grab it and lost control of the vehicle.
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The wires from the power pole fell on the trees and the woman’s vehicle. Because the power lines were charged, the woman could not exit her vehicle until PG&E officials arrived at the scene. Once PG&E officials turned off the power, the woman was extricated from the vehicle and taken to Mercy Medical Center as a precaution.
Nearby Chenoweth Elementary School was placed on lockdown because of the downed power lines. According to PG&E’s website, power was fully restored to many customers by around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.