A two-vehicle collision on West Harvard Avenue in Roseburg on Sunday afternoon sent a black 2007 Toyota RAV4 into a power pole at the intersection of Harvard and Stewart Park Drive.
Officers from the Roseburg Police Department said there were only minor injuries reported. The crash occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. Sunday, but the street was closed for about three hours while utility crews worked to stabilize the pole, which was hanging precariously over the street.
Police said Summer Thomas of Roseburg was heading east in her black 2008 Mazda 6 when the driver of the RAV4, Cassy Burdge of Oakland, pulled out of West Union Street to turn onto Harvard and didn’t see the other vehicle. The collision caused Burdge’s vehicle to veer into the power pole and break it off in front of Fly Away Travel.
The pole stayed standing, but at a severe angle leaning over the street. Utility crews were called in to stabilize the pole until it could be replaced and repaired. The Roseburg Fire Department also responded to block off Harvard from Union Street to Stewart Park Drive because of the risk the dangling pole posed.
Motorists had to take an alternate route either through Stewart Park or on West Fairhaven Street to West Brown Street and then back to Harvard on West Wharton Street
The occupants of both vehicles were transported to CHI Mercy Medical Center for their injuries, which police said appeared to be minor.
Pacific Power officials said their crews planned to work most of the day Monday to replace the damaged pole, repair electrical equipment that might have been damaged and switch the lines to the new pole once it was installed.
Sam Carter, Regional Business manager for Pacific Power in Roseburg, said it’s an expensive and somewhat complicated project.
“It sheared the pole off right at the base and where that pole is located is right in the sidewalk area and it damaged the pole about 15 feet up, it cracked it,” Carter said.
Sunday, crews anchored the broken pole to make sure it didn’t fall onto the street. They planned to move the pole out of the sidewalk area toward the building. But, Carter said, there are a lot of underground utilities that they had to watch for.
“The decision was to make it safe and secure where it is and send a crew out (Monday) to work in the daylight hours to make sure we don’t damage any underground utilities, “ Carter said. “They have to set the new pole and move the wires over to that pole,” Carter said.
Carter said crews are trying to do the work with the lines energized so they won’t have to cut power to local residences and businesses. There were a few outages when the vehicle hit the pole on Sunday, but they were limited to a small area of the neighborhood.
One lane of Harvard Avenue continued to be blocked Monday, while crews worked to replace the damaged pole.