September 18th, 2019

Police suspect drunk driving after man flips vehicle off Broadway Ave. into a power pole

By JEREMY APPEL on July 9, 2019.

jappel@medicinehatnews.com@MHNJeremyAppel

An alleged drunk driver crashed into a power pole on Broadway Avenue NW, causing a relatively brief power outage Saturday.

Medicine Hat Police Service Traffic Sgt. Clarke White told the News cops were dispatched to the scene at 8:12 p.m.

“The vehicle was travelling northbound on Box Springs Road and where the road curves towards Broadway Avenue, the vehicle left the road after it failed to negotiate the curve, had flipped several times and came to a rest when it impacted a power pole, which subsequently knocked over the power pole, causing an outage to parts of the city,” White explained.

The Dodge pickup truck had a single male occupant, who was taken by ambulance to the local hospital with minor injuries, he added.

Police consider alcohol and the speed he was driving to be the factors that caused the collision. They accompanied the driver to the hospital so he could provide a blood sample, which he refused.

Traffic reconstructionists are still working on determining precisely how fast the driver was going, but White says it was well above the 80 km/h speed limit in that area.

Damages to the vehicle and power pole are somewhere in the range of $43,000, he said.

“Police will determine if there’s any wrongdoing on the driver’s part. Insurance investigators will determine who’s at fault and who’s responsible for paying what damages,” said White.

“In the case where it’s a single vehicle versus a pole, you can draw your conclusions.”

The driver – who cannot be named until the charges against him are sworn – faces counts of impaired driving, refusing a blood sample and dangerous driving.

For the first time, the MHPS app issued a traffic warning to guide members of the public who have it on their phones.

“Primarily, it’s what we’re going to be using from now on for releasing public information and sending out push notifications for things that will immediately be affecting the public, such as road closures and areas to stay away from for public safety,” said White.

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