A power surge, caused by a pickup knocking over a power pole, started a grass fire near Highway 20 at Monroe Landing Road. Photo by Sean Dustman

A power surge, caused by a pickup knocking over a power pole, started a grass fire near Highway 20 at Monroe Landing Road. Photo by Sean Dustman

Crash into sewage station clogs traffic, causes fire

A 19-year old woman drove a pickup into a power pole and sewage lift station Sunday evening and caused a power outage, a small fire and traffic delays on Highway 20.

Around 5:45 p.m. Sunday, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue responded to the scene at Monroe Landing Road, according to Battalion Chief Chris Swiger. The driver, 19-year-old Sasha Highfield, had gone off the road in a Chevy pickup, over-corrected and hit a power pole, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle came to a stop when it hit the sewer station, but didn’t cause significant damage to the facility. No injuries were reported.

Highfield was cited for being a driver under 21 consuming alcohol, according to the sheriff’s office.

The power pole fell across the pickup and sent a surge through the line that sparked a grass fire near the highway, Swiger said. Traffic on the highway was stopped for approximately 30 minutes, he said.

Once Puget Sound Energy arrived to shut off power, firefighters quickly extinguished the fire. Seven North Whidbey fire personnel responded to the incident.

Power was restored to the area early Monday morning, according to Swiger.

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