Car chase causes power outage in Richmond

December 11, 2011 12:22:30 PM PST
A high-speed chase involving the California Highway Patrol ended when a suspect vehicle hit a utility pole in Richmond this morning, knocking power out for thousands of residents.

San Francisco CHP officers chased a BMW at speeds in excess of 100 mph through Oakland and into Richmond on Interstate Highway 580, beginning at around 2:30 a.m., Richmond police said.

The car exited the highway at the Regatta Boulevard exit in Richmond and crashed into a utility pole on that road.

The collision caused power lines to fall into the road, starting a small fire, which was extinguished by the Richmond Fire Department. Four suspects fled the vehicle on foot, and one woman was trapped in the car. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries after emergency personnel freed her from the vehicle.

Because the crash threw live wires into the roadway, PG&E was forced to shut off power in the area, Richmond police said.

Initially 2,756 customers were impacted by the outage. PG&E crews had power restored to all but 446 customers by 5 a.m., said PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris.

The affected areas are between South Second Street and South 23rd Street, and also between South 39th Street and San Pablo Avenue.

Morris said that PG&E crews remain on the scene and power is expected to be fully restored by 10:30 a.m.


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