By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore man, charged with driving his pickup while reportedly impaired, started a March 27 chain reaction that eventually involved two other vehicles and a utility pole.
The alcohol-fueled series of vehicular collisions, which started between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., left most of downtown Atmore and the city’s northwestern quadrant without power for more than an hour.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said this week that 50-year-old Thomas Knight was arrested at the scene and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to police reports, Knight was driving his Ford F-150 on Trammel Street when he “hit a vehicle, which hit another vehicle, which hit a power pole.”
The impact reportedly caused at least two nearby transformers to blow, plunging residences and businesses from Ridgeley Street to Jack Springs Road to Swift Mill Road into darkness.
“Apparently that was an important line he hit,” Brooks said. “It apparently fed everything in that area.”
Electric company crews arrived in good time and restored power to most customers within an hour, although some reports are that some residences were without electricity for more than two hours.
“Alabama Power got it back up pretty quickly,” Brooks said.
Escambia County Detention Center records indicate Knight was not booked into the jail, further indicating that he was held for eight hours in the city lockup, then released on summons.