Single-car crash shears two light poles

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



A car sheared off two light poles and pulled down a power line Friday night along East Mill Plain Boulevard, sending a teenager to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Multiple reports came into 911 just before 8 p.m. Friday about the crash in Vancouver’s Hudson’s Bay neighborhood.

The crash crumpled a 1991 Honda Accord and sent the driver, a 19-year-old man, to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, said Vancouver Police Officer Ilia Botvinnik. The driver’s identity was not released, and Botvinnik was unsure if there were passengers in the car.

He said alcohol is a suspected factor, but police were investigating the cause of the collision.

Witnesses say the Honda was heading east on Mill Plain and lost control around East Reserve Street where the road curves to the left. The car hit two metal street light poles, shearing them off their concrete foundations and bringing down a power line.

Glass and debris littered the street for multiple blocks, leading police to block off East Mill Plain Boulevard from East Reserve to V Street.

Amanda Schmadeka, 20, had just returned home and turned on “Grey’s Anatomy” when she and her family heard the sound of glass shattering, metal tearing and brakes squealing just outside their home at U Street and Mill Plain.

Her father grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran outside to find neighbors clustered around the crumpled sedan, pulling the driver out of the vehicle. A skid mark stretched down the roadway in front of her house for about a block.

During the collision, debris from the car apparently hit Schmadeka’s house. She discovered a shattered window, dents and a screwdriver stuck in the siding. Construction equipment — nails, a yellow hard hat and tools — littered the road in front of her house.

Clark Public Utilities responded to the site of the crash to remove the downed power line and fix the poles, resolving minor power problems in the area. Mill Plain reopened in both directions shortly after 9:30 p.m.

Neighbors recalled past accidents where vehicles struck power poles along East Mill Plain, citing the curve to the left at East Reserve as a reason motorists lose control of their vehicle. Over the years, Schmadeka has seen seven cars hit the pole near T Street that the sedan severed.