Salem traffic stop ends in lights off
A Roanoke man was charged after a utility pole was knocked down in Salem early Thursday.
By Neil Harvey
An early morning traffic stop in Salem took a turn that knocked out power to hundreds of customers Thursday. Damage estimates from the incident exceed $16,000, but no one was injured, officials said.
Police said an officer spotted an eastbound 2001 Toyota Camry that appeared to be weaving as it traveled down Apperson Drive, toward Electric Road, just after 2:30 a.m. According to Lt. Mike Green, when the officer activated his lights to pull the Toyota over, the driver made a sharp right turn onto and across Brookland Drive, near Bastians Bar-B-Q. The driver overcorrected back across Brookland and collided with a utility pole, knocking it down and causing it to spill live wires onto the road and the tops of the two vehicles -- damaging them both. Some of the transformers on the pole also blew out.
Charles Jesse Dickenson, 19, of Roanoke was charged with one count of driving under the influence and was taken to the Roanoke County-Salem Jail. An official with the jail said Dickenson was released Thursday afternoon on $1,000 bond.
Green said damage to the utility pole, wires and transformers was estimated at about $15,000. Damage to the suspect's car was estimated at $1,200. An estimate for the patrol car wasn't available Thursday, but Green said it was "extensive" and mostly related to the car's paint and electrical system.
City spokesman Mike Stevens said several hundred customers in the areas of Apperson, Upland and Westclub drives lost electricity for about an hour after the crash.
Power was restored to Bastians Bar-B-Q and the Texaco across Apperson just after noon, Stevens said.