Crash by DWI driver on phone causes Toms River blackout, cops say
TOMS RIVER — Police say a drunk driver lost control while answering his phone, crashing down two utility poles that knocked out power to parts of Toms River for several hours on Sunday night.
Wilfredo Flores, 47, of Toms River, was traveling east on Bay Avenue about 8 p.m. when he swerved off the road and hit a utility pole at Tanglewood Road, splitting it in half, police said.
A second pole was damaged because of excessive wire tension.
The fallen wires also sparked a brush fire, although that was quickly put out.
Police said Flores ran from the crash but was stopped by a township resident.
Flores was charged with DWI, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, driving an unregistered vehicle and a cell phone violation. His vehicle was impounded.
Power was out for several hours on the east side of Toms River while JCP&L crews made repairs into the early hours of Monday morning.