A traffic accident in Goleta knocked out power to more than 600 customers Monday, and nearly 400 remained without power late into the night.
The outage, in the Stow Canyon area, affected 683 customers, and Southern California Edison Co crews worked throughout the day testing the lines to try and limit how many people were without power, according to Rondi Guthrie, the SCE representative for local public affairs.
Crews initially believed they could get power back by 10:30 a.m., but the accident took out the power pole and a fix requires new equipment, she said.
“It looks like this will be a much longer day,” she said. “It really could last most of the day today before we get power restored, even into this evening.”
As of 10 p.m., 377 customers remained without power, and company officials said they hoped to have all back on line by 11 p.m.
A driver was traveling eastbound on Stow Canyon Monday morning and reportedly reached down to grab something, which caused him to veer off the side of the road, said Sgt. Kevin Huddle with Goleta’s traffic unit.
The driver hit a mailbox and collided with a power pole, completely breaking it.
No alcohol or drugs are suspected in the accident, as it was a case of distracted driving, Huddle added. No one else was injured in the accident, but the driver did call someone to take him to the hospital since airbags deployed.
“He was driving probably 25 or 30 mph, the speed limit is 25, and a lot of times when you look away, you veer,” Huddle said. “The vehicle completely broke the power pole off, so the wires started arcing and the pole itself was just dangling there, being held by power lines.”