Accident cuts power to 300 county residents |

Accident cuts power to 300 county residents

William Ferchland
A 2000 Jeep Cherokee driven by Keith Coblentz, a 50-year-old from Sunnyvale, crashed into a power pole along Pioneer Trail at 3:31 a.m. Friday, disrupting power for 300 people in the area of Oneidas Street, authorities said. (Provided by the California Highway Patrol)

About 300 people lost power early Friday morning after a 2000 Jeep Cherokee crashed into a power pole along Pioneer Trail east of Oneidas Street, sending the driver to a Reno hospital by helicopter.

Keith Coblentz, a 50-year-old from Sunnyvale, suffered moderate injuries in the 3:31 a.m. accident when his Jeep drifted across the road and off the pavement into the pole, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

Coblentz had to be extricated from his car by Lake Valley Fire District firefighters while the Jeep was still on its roof. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident and Coblentz was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, said Officer Steve Gwaltney.

He was taken to Washoe Medical Center in Reno by CALSTAR helicopter. Gwaltney said Coblentz suffered a cut to his head and his hand was trapped in the wreckage.

A Washoe Medical Center official confirmed Coblentz was at the hospital but could not release his condition.

Power was disrupted for 300 people in the area but was restored for most at 11 a.m. with the rest coming online around 1:15 p.m., said Karl Walquist, spokesman for Sierra Pacific Power Company.

Gwaltney used the incident to remind people who decide to drink to avoid driving and use money for a taxi or hotel room or designate a driver.

“Have some sort of plan before you start drinking,” he said.


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