Crash snaps utility pole, police close road

LEWISTON — Both drivers escaped serious injury but utility crews were tied up into the night after a collision on Westminster Street sheared a utility pole in half.

Pole Crash 1
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Central Maine Power Co. arrives on the scene of a two-vehicle accident that closed Westminster Street in Lewiston for a period of time when a pole was sheared off and dangled above the road early evening Wednesday.

Pole Crash 2
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

A woman is lead away from the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Westminster Street on Wednesday. The road was closed due to a utility pole that was sheared off and left dangling above the road.

Pole Crash 3
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Police block Westminster Street in Lewiston on Wednesday after a two-vehicle collision caused a utility pole to shear off and dangled above the road.

Police said a Saab driven by Dyland Ruscansky, 20, of Lewiston, and a Honda SUV driven by Linda Guay, 46, of Lisbon Falls, collided at about 5:15 p.m.

The impact of the crash forced Guay's vehicle into a utility pole, causing the pole to snap in half. The lower half fell to the lawn of a business at the corner of Enterprise Street while the upper dangled from power lines over the street.

A fire hydrant was also ripped from the ground in the crash, causing a brief geyser and a stream of water across the roadway.

The damaged pole caused problems down the line, as a transformer caught fire near the Chickadee of Lewiston restaurant, at the corner of Westminster and Lisbon streets.

Fire crews attended to the burning transformer while police and emergency crews went further up Westminster to the crash site. There, those involved in the wreck were able to exit their vehicles. However, not knowing whether dangling power lines were live or not, police quickly blocked off the area until a Central Maine Power Co. crew could get to the scene.

Fire crews tended to the mangled hydrants while CMP was joined by workers from other utility companies, including FairPoint and Cablevision.

Hours after the crash, those crews remained at the scene, with police keeping a section of Westminster blocked to traffic. A Lewiston police official said CMP planned to drill a new hole and replace the broken pole. The work was expected to continue late into the night.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation.

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GARY SAVARD's picture

Westminster street has a

Westminster street has a speed limit of what, 30 MPH or so? It's in the Lewiston Indusrial Park. I would have to guess maybe excessive speed was a factor.

 's picture

going to fast

I would have to say that someone was going way to fast to stap a pole a break off a fire hydrant


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