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Power Outage Sparked By Suspected DUI Crash

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Calaveras County, CA – A Rail Road Flat man was arrested for being drunk behind the wheel after his pickup smashed into a power pole and left hundreds without electricity yesterday.

As reported here yesterday, the solo-vehicle crash happened just after 1:30 p.m. on Thursday on Railroad Flat Road near Swiss Ranch Road in the Mountain Ranch area. San Andreas Unit CHP Officer Toby Butzler states that 24-year-old Ryan J. Ireland of Rail Road Flat was driving a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup northbound at a high rate of speed and while using his cell phone. Ireland lost control of the truck on a curve. It went off the roadway and smashed into a power pole, and then overturned. Butzler details, “He struck a pretty significant power pole that included a transformer. The pole was severed; it and live power lines fell into the roadway.”

Originally, 710 PG&E customers in the area were without electricity for over two hours. That number dropped to 137 and those customers’ lights were not restored until around 7:30 a.m. on Friday. Additionally, a section of Railroad Flat Road was closed as utility crews repaired the pole.

Ireland sustained major injuries and was taken to Mark Twain Medical Center for treatment. He was arrested at the hospital for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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