TOMS RIVER – Police said a drunk driver answered his cell phone while driving, causing him to take down a utility pole and then flee the scene.
The incident happened at around 8 p.m. on January 17. Wilfredo Flores, 47, of Toms River, was heading east on Bay Avenue.
While taking a turn, he allegedly answered a call on his phone. This caused him to swerve off the roadway, hitting a curb and utility pole. This split the pole in half. A second pole was damaged as the wires pulled on it.
Flores then fled and was stopped by a concerned citizen, said police, who soon arrived at the scene.
Several neighborhoods were without power through the night while Verizon and Jersey Central Power & Light repaired the poles. Traffic lights along Bay Avenue were out between Vaughn Avenue and Indian Hill Road. The downed wires ignited two brush fires which were quickly extinguished by Toms River Fire Companies 1 and 2.
Flores was charged with Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Report an Accident, Unregistered Vehicle, and a cell phone violation. Charges are merely accusations until proven in a court of law.
The vehicle was impounded as per John’s Law. The accident is being investigated by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Robert Westfall.