A loud pop, a crash then a shower of sparks brought Larchmont residents out of their homes Tuesday afternoon as the driver of a Subaru SUV clipped an aging power pole unexpectedly, sheering the bottom half off and leaving live electric lines drooping over the intersection of Chatsworth and Vanderburgh Avenues.
It happened about 1:30pm as the driver jumped the curb and caught the power pole with his vehicle’s right front fender. The wooden pole sheered off at ground level and snapped about 9 feet up, leaving the upper half of it dangling from the wires that it once supported. The dramatic failure is all the more remarkable because the SUV’s airbags didn’t even deploy, and the driver was completely uninjured.
Larchmont Police and Firefighters cordoned two areas along Chatsworth Avenue where the stress of the additional weight snapped live lines, leaving them dangling over the sidewalk at Augie’s Restaurant and Anderson’s Book Store. Power remained on and diners returned to their meals at Larchmont Tavern as police closed Chatsworth and Vanderburgh, rerouting local traffic. Tuesday evening, crews continued to repair lines and replace the pole, which required power be cut to homes and businesses within a several block radius.
The Subaru was rendered underivable by the impact and was towed away. No charges were filed.
Homes and businesses near the crash were in the dark until 2:30 Wednesday morning.
Lou Young is a veteran journalist who has been honored with multiple awards including 10 Emmys. He retired in 2017 after 43 years in TV News and was recently appointed a Trustee in the Village of Mamaroneck, and has suspended reporting duties.