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Hundreds of Santa Rosa homes, businesses lose power after vehicle wreck

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.

More than 450 homes and businesses were without power in Santa Rosa on Thursday night after a silver Ford SUV flipped on its roof and crashed into power lines, officials said.

The accident occurred around 6 p.m. near 3399 Parker Hill Road in Santa Rosa, near Chanate Road. Multiple power lines were down, with live wires dangling in the roadway, causing officials to close Parker Hill Road from Chanate Road to Sleepy Hollow Drive.

"It certainly did cause a mess all around town, because it extended out for several miles, all the way to Mendocino Avenue and Steele," said Sergeant John Cregan of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

At one point, power was out along Russell Avenue, east and west of Highway 101 and stretched to Chanate Road and Parker Hill Road, said Jana Morris, spokeswoman for PG&E.

"It looks like we are going to replace the 55-foot pole," Morris said around 8 p.m. "It also looks like there are flaggers out there for traffic. It should be about a 10-hour repair, once repairs begin. I don't have an estimate when customers will be restored, because they haven't started the repairs yet."

The driver, Sara Nunez-Santos, 31, of Santa Rosa, had reached down to pick something up from the floor and momentarily took her eyes off the road, Cregan said. Nunez-Santos and her daughter, who turns 2 years old today, appeared uninjured but were taken to Sutter Hospital as a precaution, Cregan said.

"The driver had a seat belt and the child was in a proper child restraint, which is what kept her safe, because when the car flipped over, she was hanging upside-down," Cregan said.

Homes around Parker Hill Road remained without power well into the evening. Some worried about having heat, and others walked along the sidewalks with headlamps.

"Good thing we have a gas stove," said Joan Robinson, who lives on Chanate Road.

"I guess we'll make an early night of it," said her husband, John Robinson.

You can reach Staff Writer Cathy Bussewitz at 521-5276 or cathy.bussewitz@pressdemocrat.com.

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