A male driver estimated to be in his 20s is OK after his vehicle collided with a power pole Monday morning and went up in flames, according to first responders.
The man, apparently uninjured, was able to escape from the burning vehicle on his own and turned down treatment from medics.
The wreck occurred around 6:30 a.m. Monday morning on Bailey Road in between Cultus Bay Road and Scatchet Head Road. South Whidbey Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Mike Cotton said the driver was “probably traveling at a high rate of speed” in his black sedan when he drove off the road at a curve. When the vehicle left the road, it hit a power pole and knocked it across the road, blocking both lanes. The car rolled over onto its side near the middle of the road.
Cotton said it didn’t appear the downed power lines caused the fire.
“I think the accident is what caused the car to catch fire,” Cotton said. “The car was on its side in the road, engulfed in flames. It was pretty dramatic.”
Responders weren’t able to approach the vehicle upon arrival. Cotton said with the downed pole and lines strung across the road, emergency responders had to be cautious of possible electrical currents. The vehicle was “on the lines,” so Fire/EMS officials had to wait until Puget Sound Energy workers arrived to ensure the lines were dead.
“There were people that were really close to that car,” Cotton said. “It was very dangerous.”
The collision caused 540 Puget Sound Energy customers in the area to lose power. The company’s outage map estimated power would be restored by 4:30 p.m. on Monday.
The wreck caused a closure on Bailey Road between Cultus Bay Road and Scatchet Head Road for two hours. Cotton said the road was slated to be partially closed later in the day while Puget Sound Energy replaces the downed pole.