Steamboat Springs A power outage that left an unknown number of Oak Creek homes without electricity Tuesday night and into Wednesday was the result of an allegedly drunken driver who ran into a utility pole.
The incident happened on Grant Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. The driver, 33-year-old Daniel Raymond Story, of Oak Creek, was behind the wheel of a Jeep utility-type vehicle when he lost control and smashed into a utility pole, knocking it to the ground, Oak Creek police Officer Lance Dunaway said.
When officers arrived on scene, power lines were laying on top of the vehicle. Dunaway said responders first checked on the status of the vehicle’s three occupants. There were no serious injuries.
They then had to remove the power lines from the car, replace the utility pole, repair the power lines and tow the vehicle.
Story was arrested on suspicion of DUI, DUI per se, careless driving and child abuse. He was booked into Routt County Jail.
“This is a very, very fortunate situation,” Dunaway said. “We were very lucky that we did not have a serious injury or fatality.”
Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said his team used its rescue truck and light towers to illuminate the area while workers spent the overnight hours repairing the downed utility pole and restoring power to the affected areas of town.
It is not known exactly how many homes and businesses were affected by the outage. The estimated cost of the repairs also are unknown. Oak Creek Public Works Director Bob Redding did not return phone messages seeking comment Wednesday.
However, Wisecup said much of the power was restored by midnight Wednesday.
Soroco High School and Middle School, the community center and a handful of residences remained without power until early Wednesday, he said.
Employees of the town’s Public Works Department, Fire District and Police Department were on scene from about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday till 8 a.m. Wednesday handling the incident.
“Our concern was that we wanted to have power up this morning, so that when people woke up and school started, the power was back on,” Dunaway said. “Public Works definitely did a good job to get that power up and restored.”
David Bonfiglio, owner of Bonfiglio Drug in downtown Oak Creek, said the power at his business went down for a brief time Tuesday evening after the store was closed, and it was restored quickly.
Jane Sindell, of Mugshot coffee shop, also reported no impact to her downtown business.