High-Speed Chase Knocks Out Power to Thousands

Passenger put self at risk of electrocution after she got out of the car close to live power wires.

Sunday, Dec 11, 2011  |  Updated 7:00 PM PDT
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High-Speed Chase Knocks Out Power to Thousands

This is the first caused by the crash that followed a chase in Oakland.

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A high-speed chase involving the California Highway Patrol ended when a suspect vehicle hit a utility pole in Richmond overnight, knocking out power for thousands of residents.

San Francisco CHP officers chased a BMW at speeds in excess of 100 mph through Oakland and into Richmond on Interstate Highway 580, beginning at around 2:30 a.m., Richmond police said.

The car left the highway at the Regatta Boulevard exit in Richmond and crashed into a utility pole on that road.

The collision caused power lines to fall into the road, starting a small fire, which was extinguished by the Richmond Fire Department.

Four suspects fled the vehicle on foot. One woman remained on the scene. She was shouted down by police to stay still after exiting the vehicle as officers attempted to keep her away from the live wires.

Because the crash threw live wires into the roadway, PG&E was forced to shut off power in the area, Richmond police said.

Initially 2,756 customers were impacted by the outage. PG&E crews had power restored to all but 446 customers by 5 a.m., PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said.

The affected areas are between South Second Street and South 23rd Street, and also between South 39th Street and San Pablo Avenue.

Morris said that PG&E crews remain on the scene and power is expected to be fully restored by 10:30 a.m.

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