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Driver arrested for DUI after hitting power pole on Auburn Blvd

Power pole
Police, fire and utility crews respond to the scene of a collision involving a power pole on Auburn Boulevard Wednesday. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights police arrested a 30-year-old on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs after his vehicle veered off the roadway and collided with a power pole on Auburn Boulevard Wednesday, knocking out power to more than 14,000 residents.

The collision, which occurred around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, left dangling wires and a splintered power pole in the roadway near the intersection of Auburn Boulevard and Greenback Lane. Southbound lanes of Auburn Boulevard were closed for about an hour following the incident, causing some traffic delays in the area during the morning commute. One lane remained closed for several more hours.

Police Sgt. Shaun Gualco identified the driver as Thadeaus Kleiser and said officers had “detected signs and symptoms of intoxication” at the scene of the collision and later arrested him. According to online inmate records, Kleiser is charged with driving under the influence of drugs and driving with a suspended or revoked license, both of which are misdemeanor offences.

He was initially held on bail set at $1,000, but was released later the same day.

A severed power pole lies in the roadway on Auburn Boulevard near Greenback Lane following a collision Wednesday. // CH Sentinel

Police said Kleiser was travelling southbound on Auburn Boulevard in a black Dodge Durango when his vehicle “veered off the roadway” and into a power pole. Two other vehicles also collided while trying to avoid the initial collision, but no injuries were reported.

Most residents had power restored within an hour of the collision, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s online outage map. Several hundred residents in the area remained without power until mid-afternoon Wednesday.

In a tweet on Tuesday, prior to the collision, the utility district had urged drivers to use caution on the roadways and said about 6 percent of power outages are caused by vehicles colliding with SMUD equipment.

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