Update: SUV crashes into utility pole
Monday's traffic accident on Highway 19 didn't only disrupt traffic. For The Crate which sits in the shopping center near the crash site it also wrecked their sales.
"I pretty much could have shut the doors, because there was hardly any traffic, people couldn't come in and out," said manager Rhonda Love.
Love was working when the accident happened.
"Well at first I saw this just big thing of smoke, and I was like 'wow' and it just went away. Then I saw the police coming and the traffic started backing up," said Love.
From the time of crash at about 3:30 p.m. until she closed at 7, Love says she had maybe four customers; a big hit on a day when she was hoping for good sales.
"Because of the Martin Luther King Day and of course all of the banks and stuff were closed, and they use those days to sometimes come out and shop with us. So it really hurt our business," said Love.
The accident also took out power twice, affecting about 900 customers.
"The first time that we took it out, it was out for an hour. When we went to put the pole back together it was out for an hour and 45 minutes," said Jay Smith of Georgia Power.
The person allegedly responsible for all the mess is 22-year-old Nicolas Sisneros.
Georgia State Patrol troopers say Sisneros was turning off of U.S. Highway 19 when he hit the pole. Officers say Sisneros may have been texting at the time, but when they got to the scene and checked his cell phone, all the messages had been erased, so they weren't able to charge him with texting while driving.
But Sisneros was hit with four other charges; failure to maintain lane, illegal window tint, driving without a license, and DUI.
Troopers say Sisneros' blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit. He was arrested and booked at the Lee County Jail.
A white SUV crashed into a utility pole at the corner of Cedric Drive and U.S. 19 in Lee County Monday, knocking out power to every traffic light at the intersection.
Officials got the call at 3:39 p.m. Monday. According to witnesses, the man driving the SUV was traveling south on 19 and attempted a left turn onto Cedric when he ran into the utility pole, also knocking over a crosswalk signal. GSP confirms they have taken one person into custody. No word on if there were any passengers. Georgia Power crews on the scene say power would be cut to surrounding businesses for a short period while they decide whether to take the pole down or leave it for the time being. No word on how long it would take to put up a new pole.
Witnesses say the driver might have been texting, but GSP could not confirm that at this time.