Two accidents in which drivers rammed power poles, on New Year’s Day and Jan. 2 left some Blaine County residents without power for several hours.
The first crash happened at about 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day on Warm Springs Road near Sage Road in Ketchum. According to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the crash along with four Ketchum firefighters. Once on scene, deputies discovered a power pole hanging over the hood of a 2020 Chevy Malibu on the north side of the road with power lines dangling 5 feet above the ground and the driver not at the scene.
Officers shut down the road to complete an investigation and allow Idaho Power to repair the line. By 5:30 p.m. full power was restored to the roughly 1,236 customers in the Warm Springs area who went without power for most of New Year’s Day.
The driver of the Malibu, 66-year-old Laura Elizabeth Accinelli, of California, was located and cited with misdemeanor DUI and released. The Malibu sustained substantial damages and was towed from the scene.
Accinelli is scheduled for an arraignment in Blaine County 5th District Magistrate Court on Jan. 27.
The second collision occurred on state Highway 75 just south of Deer Creek Road, north of Hailey, on Jan. 2 about 6:30 p.m.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, a gray 2016 Volvo struck a power pole off the southbound shoulder of Highway 75. Driver Arthur F. Oppenheimer, 73, and passenger Esther B. Oppenheimer, 73, both of Boise, were wearing seatbelts and were uninjured. The power pole broke off in the crash and was suspended by the power lines. None of the power lines was disconnected, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Volvo sustained substantial damage and Idaho Power shut off power to areas of Hailey for several hours to repair the line.
Idaho Power personnel estimated the cost to repair the power pole to be about $20,000. No citations were issued for the accident.