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Car crash causes power outage after drunk passenger grabs wheel

(Derek Petersen/KSL-TV)

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SANDY — Power was knocked out to about 1,000 customers in Sandy Tuesday after a car smashed into a power pole.

The incident happened about 6:40 a.m. when a 44-year-old Salt Lake man driving south on 1300 East abruptly went off the road near 9676 South and hit a pole, knocking it and the overhead wires it was supporting down, said Sandy Police Lt. Dean Carriger.

The driver originally told police his car had suffered some sort of mechanical failure, Carriger said. But later, the driver changed his story and told investigators that his passenger, a 28-year-old man from Midvale who was drunk and passed out in the front seat, was startled awake for an unknown reason and inadvertently grabbed the steering wheel, causing the accident, Carriger said.

Police were investigating Tuesday whether the story was plausible. Carriger said the passenger did show signs of impairment when officers arrived.

The driver was cited for driving on a suspended license but was not intoxicated, he said.

Power was restored to the area after several hours.

Contributing: Shara Park



Pat Reavy


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