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UPDATED: Car Accident Leaves Hundreds without Power for Hours

A damaged Honda Pilot sits in the front yard of a home, damage from a collison in its wake.
Photo courtesy Tim Burke

An early morning car accident on R St NE left over a thousand PSE customers without power for several hours.

That’s Not a Parking Spot

Shortly after 3:00 a.m. a 2008 Honda Pilot left the roadway and took out a PSE power pole.


According to a witness, the vehicle was heading north on R St NE before veering to the left at the corner of 6th St NE, striking the base of the power pole. After spinning 180 degrees, the vehicle stopped in the front yard of a home in the 500 Block of R St NE. A stump halted the Honda Pilot’s movement.

A damaged Honda Pilot sits in the front yard of a home, damage from a collison in its wake.
Photo courtesy Tim Burke

It is the estimate of the witness that had the large stump not been present the vehicle would have continued to spin out, likely hitting the home’s garage or an RV parked on the property.

“The vehicle ended up being reported stolen,” said Auburn Police Commander Dave Colglazier. “The vehicle was unoccupied upon our arrival.  A couple [of] callers reporting seeing two subjects running northbound from the vehicle, possibly one male and one female.”

Inside the car was drug paraphernalia, cannabis, several open bottles of alcohol, the witness said. A bottle of Hennessy was also found in the garden near the tree stump.


1,065 Customers Without Power

Valley Regional Fire Authority was dispatched to 6th St NE and R St NE at 3:18 a.m. for downed wires.

PSE listed the initial number of impacted customers as 1,065, with the outage extending up into Lea Hill and down R St NE to R St Se toward 18 capturing a small portion of E Main St. Power was restored to over half the affected customers at approximately 5:30 a.m. Power was fully restored just after 2:00 p.m.

PSE repairs a downed power pole.
PSE repairs a downed power pole on R St NE | for the Auburn Examiner

Responsible for the Damage

When the power pole came down portions of the power meter on the side of the home were ripped off. Before power could be restored to the home emergency repairs were required, adding to the cost. At the time, homeowner Tim Burke thought insurance, specifically someone else’s insurance, would cover the repairs.

Police Lights shine through an abandoned vehicle from a single car collison that sits in the yard of an uninvolved home
Photo courtesy Tim Burke

Unfortunately, because the car was stolen, Burke is on the hook for the cost of the emergency electrical repairs. With a deductible higher than the $1,800 bill, that money is coming out of his own pocket.

If you’d like to help Tim recoup some of the cost of the repairs his PayPal is  Every bit helps, especially these days!

Last Updated 4/28/21, 5:30 PM: Additional details and photographs.

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