By James Lanaras
Bay City News Service
Highway Patrol is looking for witnesses to a crash that caused a large
power outage and backed up traffic on southbound U.S. Highway 101 for hours
Witnesses told the CHP that a white four-door sedan cut off a white Ford Ranger driven by 54-year-old Maria Fuentes, of American Canyon, around 6 a.m., CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.
Fuentes turned to the right to avoid hitting the sedan and ran into a wooden power pole on the right shoulder of the highway near Manuel T. Freitas Parkway, Barclay said.
The impact sheared the pole, and Fuentes' Ford Ranger overturned and landed on its roof in a ditch, Barclay said. Emergency responders freed her from her vehicle and she was treated at a hospital for minor injuries. The top portion of the power pole was suspended in the air at an angle by power lines.
The collision knocked out power to 2,533 PG&E customers in northern San Rafael. PG&E crews asked the CHP to close the right lane so they could repair the pole safely.
Traffic backed up for miles from Petaluma to San Rafael and on the state Highway 37 approach to Highway 101 during the repairs, Barclay said.
Anyone who saw the collision and may have gotten the white sedan's license plate number is asked to call the CHP at (415) 924-1100.
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