A hit-and-run accident at 10:46 p.m. Monday, April 8, left about 3,450 Cambria customers without electricity for anywhere from 15 minutes to about an hour.
A white pickup truck, traveling northbound on Highway 1 just north of the intersection with Highway 46, collided with a power pole and went down a 30-foot embankment, according to CHP, PG&E and Cambria Fire Department reports.
In its wake, the truck left a damaged transformer arcing into tree limbs and a tangle of power lines in the field east of the highway.
Emergency crews couldn’t get to the vehicle safely until power was shut off to the lines.
“When we got there, however, nobody was there,” said Cambria Fire Capt. Johnathan Gibson. Law enforcement officials said that, when they arrived, they saw what they believe was someone running through the pasture fields but, because of the downed lines, they couldn’t chase after him or her.
Power was restored to nearly 1,500 customers within about 25 minutes and to all but three of the rest by 11:50 p.m., according to PG&E spokesman Blair Jones. Those three got their electricity back at 10:14 a.m. Tuesday, he said.
Monday’s incident the second outage for Cambria in five days. The first, on April 4, was caused by a short in an underground electrical vault in East Village shortly after 8 p.m. That short caused an explosion that reportedly raised the half-ton vault lid 6 to 7 inches and triggered what witnesses called “a short-term light show.”
That outage affected 309 customers, mostly in downtown East Village. Some residential customers were without power for about 2 hours and 20 minutes.