A 47-year-old drunken driver is facing multiple charges for a crash that downed a utility pole, started a brush fire and caused a power massive power outage over the weekend in Toms River, authorities said.
Wilfredo Flores was negotiating a curve when he answered a call on his cell phone, swerved off the roadway to the right and hit a curb at Bay Avenue and Tanglewood Road around 8 p.m. Jan. 17, Toms River police said.
The impact split the pole in half and subsequently damaged a second pole due to excessive wire tension, police said.
Flores fled eastbound but was soon stopped by a concerned citizen, Toms River police said.
Several neighborhoods on the east side of town were without power overnight while Verizon and JCP&L worked to repair the damaged poles, according to police.
The downed poles ignited two brush fires that were quickly extinguished by Toms River Fire Companies 1 and 2.
Traffic lights were out between Vaughn Avenue and Indian Hill, along Bay Avenue as a result of the accident.
Flores was charged with DUI, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, unregistered vehicle, and was served a cell phone violation, police said.
The vehicle was impounded as per John’s Law and the crash accident is being investigated by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Robert Westfall.
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