DWI crash causes massive power outage in Orchard Park

Posted at 6:22 AM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 19:07:35-04

Big Tree Road in Orchard Park is now reopened after being closed for most of the day due to a DWI crash that destroyed a main transmission line utility pole and resulted in electricity being cut to over 4,000 NYSEG customers.

The road was closed from Route 219 to California Road.

Police say a drunk driver struck the pole on Rt. 20A not far from the Buffalo Bills Stadium around 3 a.m., cutting off power to 300 residents initially as well as Orchard Park schools.  Because the pole had to be replaced, power was turned off to most of Orchard Park for several hours while NYSEG crews made repairs.

Police arrested Anthony Peters, 21, from Orchard Park, the man they say is responsible.

According to Lt. Joe Ray from Orchard Park Police, an officer found Peters driving about 1/2 mile from the scene of the broken pole at close to 3 a.m.

"His tires were still working, which is why he was driving, but his airbags had deployed and the radiator was gone," explained Lt. Ray.

Peters refused to submit to chemical testing and was charged on DWI common law, which uses an officers observations of an intoxicated individual as evidence.

Other charges of having an open container of alcohol in a moving vehicle and numerous traffic infractions were also placed against the Orchard Park man.

However, because of refusing to be tested, Peters will now have to go before Department of Motor Vehicle Administrative Law Judge to see if the circumstances warrant the revocation of his license.  It will also mean several hundred dollars in fines will be levied against Peters.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly has more on this accident and how it impacted many people in Orchard Park.