Man crashes truck into pole, Meridian Middle School loses power for day

A man crashed his pickup truck into a power pole on Hannegan Road early Wednesday morning, April 15, knocking out power to Meridian Middle School for the day.

A Ford pickup truck driven by a 38-year-old man struck a power pole across from Irene Reither Elementary around 3:30 a.m., said Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks. The truck sheared the bottom of the pole while the top half hung connected to the wires.

The pickup truck was towed away. Deputies cited the driver for negligent driving in the second degree. The crash did not appear to be alcohol or drug related, Parks said, though he was not immediately sure if the driver was given a breath test. Other details involved — such as potential injuries, the speed of the truck or if the driver was arrested — were not available Wednesday afternoon. Parks could not confirm the driver’s name.

Meanwhile, Meridian Middle School and some surrounding houses lost power for the day, causing the school to cancel classes. Puget Sound Energy crews were still at the scene replacing the pole as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. They estimated 27 customers were without power through the day.

Tom Churchill, Meridian School District superintendent, said students should expect school to be open Thursday. The district will apply to the state for an emergency closure waiver, which means the school would not have to make up the school day later in the year. He expects the state to grant the waiver.

Churchill was grateful the power outage affected only one school and not the entire district.

“The middle school kids, of course, are happy,” Churchill said.