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Power pole crash ties up traffic Dec. 18

Pole replaced by power company
A vehicle-power pole crash on Dec. 18, in downtown Madras tied up traffic for several hours while the power company replaced the downed pole.
   According to a report by Madras police officer Ryan Kathrein, around 4:45 p.m., a crash was reported at Fourth and A streets, near Ag West.
   Racin Jason Johnson, 36, of Warm Springs, the driver of a 1998 Dodge Durango, had crashed his vehicle into the base of the power pole, causing it to lean, and wires to hang in the roadway.
   This made Fourth Street, which is also U.S. Highway 97, unsafe for traffic, and southbound traffic was rerouted up Oak Street and around the area.
   Kathrein contacted the driver, who did not have his driver's license with him, and said he did not have insurance on the vehicle.
   Johnson told the officer he was traveling south when he bent down to grab a cigarette pack underneath his seat. The next thing that happened was he hit the power pole because he had taken his eyes off the roadway.
   A witness estimated that Johnson had been going about 25 or 30 mph at the time of impact.
   Johnson was cited for failure to drive within the lane and driving uninsured.
   The power company responded to the scene and turned off the electricity to the power lines. The pole had to be replaced, which took extra time.
   A nearby business owner at Madras Auto Parts reported that his building and one of his computers received damage due to the crash.