Update: Thousands lose power in Slatersville following crash by Gator’s Pub, driver charged with DUI

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – A vehicle accident by Gator’s Pub Thursday night took down at least one utility pole, along with power to more than 2,000 homes in Slatersville. The driver of the vehicle is now facing charges after police say they spotted vomit by the side of the car.

Sara Lacroix, 45, of Woonsocket was charged with DUI, BAC Unknown, according to a release on Friday, Dec. 29 from the North Smithfield Police Department.

The crash took place around 7:30 p.m., with witnesses saying the driver hit a pole on Main Street, to the side of the restaurant. Firefighters told NRI NOW there were two utility poles down, and a transformer sits just across the street from the business on Victory Highway.

“Officers were able to close the road and safely escort the operator of the vehicle, to the rescue,” noted NSPD.

During this time police report an odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from Lacroix’s breath, and say that she was unsteady on her feet.

“Lacroix did admit to consuming alcoholic beverages prior to operating the motor vehicle,” noted the release.  

Those looking outside as the power went out to the surrounding area described flashes of green light in the sky.

“One vehicle went into a pole just to the right of Lumberjacks,” North Smithfield Fire & Rescue Capt. Brian Gartland later told NRI NOW.

According to someone at the scene, two poles were down around 8 p.m. and fire dispatch service confirmed reports stating two poles were reported down. Gartland noted that he was focused on the patient at the scene, the driver and only occupant of the vehicle, who had minor injuries.

“I only saw one, but I did hear there might have been a second one affected by the incident,” Gartland said of the utility poles. “It definitely affected the transformer. I’m not sure of the extent of the damages to the electric equipment.”

The Rhode Island Energy outage map initially stated that 2,000 customers were without power, with an estimated restoration time of 9:30 p.m.

Power was restored to a portion of the area just before 8:30 p.m., with 372 customers still out, according to the map, which showed an estimated restoration time of 1 a.m. for those remaining. Power was restored to the remaining homes around 11:40 p.m.

Lacroix was summonsed and assigned a court date of Tuesday, Jan. 9. In addition to the DUI charge, she was issued a Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal ticket for refusal to submit to a chemical test, first offense, failure to maintain proper control of a vehicle and laned roadway violations.

Editor’s note: This story may be updated periodically as information becomes available.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. So that’s what it was! My lights were flickering at that exact time and I called it in. I assumed a rain soaked dead branch was on the wires somewhere. I’m surprised it had an effect all the way over here near Tarkiln Pond.

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