Crews replace 8 power poles after crash caused them to fall in domino effect on Veterans Memorial

Charly Edsitty Image
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Crash downs 8 power poles, causing mess on Veterans Memorial
Deputies said a driver was coming home from the gym when he crashed into a pole, causing a domino effect. The northbound lanes are expected to be closed until around 2 p.m.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Eight power poles were knocked over in a crash involving at least four cars in northwest Harris County overnight, according to deputies.

The northbound lanes of Veterans Memorial Drive were closed between the Beltway and Gears Road as crews worked to raise and install brand new power poles one-by-one. To help alleviate traffic, crews have one lane of traffic moving in each direction in the southbound lanes.

After the crash, it was lights out for hundreds of residents living nearby.

"We were just getting ready to go to bed, he had just went to sleep, and everything just cut off," Ebony Coleman said.

In an update shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday, CenterPoint Energy said 130 customers were still without power in the area.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said power was restored to all impacted homes and businesses, and that the roadway should be open by the 4 p.m. hour.

Crews earlier replaced all of the damaged power poles and were stringing the cables.

"Last night we were trying to figure out how to get out of here to go to my mom's house if our lights didn't come back on," Easie Arcenaux said.

Thankfully, deputies said no injuries were reported and everyone was able to safely get out of the vehicles around the downed lines.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in addition to the poles falling, the crash caused some poles to splinter and ceramic coils to bust.

The 20-year-old driver who reportedly caused the accident was coming home from the gym at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. He crashed into one power pole in the 11000 block of Veterans Memorial, which caused several more to fall in a domino effect.

He told investigators he was not speeding, deputies said. Officials do not believe the driver was intoxicated.

Other drivers on the road had to do their best to dodge the falling debris. Video from the scene shows how drivers had to slam on their brakes in order to narrowly miss the poles.

"One individual had to get out of his car through his window," said Shahzada Malik, whose sister was caught up in the mess. "The wires were just going left and right, like final destination type."

ABC13 reached out to Aldine ISD to see if any nearby schools were impacted, and a spokesperson said Spence and Conley elementary schools lost power, but it was restored without any disruptions for students.

Officials said it was miraculous there were no serious injuries, considering some of the power lines were still charged when they toppled over, which could have electrocuted someone.

"If lines are still energized, you are talking enough power that absolutely, it could not only stop a human heart, but it can do extensive bodily damage to somebody," Patrol Sgt. Dan Best said. "Most likely, it's going to end up in death."

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