By Dave Rogers
---- — NEWBURYPORT - More than 1,600 households lost power late Friday night after a New Hampshire man smashed into a telephone pole on State Street across from Newburyport District Court while allegedly smashed himself.
Jeffrey Schena, 45, of Kensington, N.H. was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, leaving scene after property damage, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and marked lanes, following the crash which took place around 11 p.m. that night. He is expected to be arraigned at the same courthouse today.
According to National Grid, approximately 1,641 customers were without power past midnight including residents and businesses on Low Street, State Street, Charles Street, Bromfield Street, Zabriske Drive, Water Street, Greenleaf Street, Purchase Street and other nearby locations.
Schena, according to the police department’s initial investigation, had been on his way home when he suffered a flat tire on Interstate 95. He continued driving with the flat tire, but got off the highway and went onto less traveled roads. He made it to the Route 1 traffic circle before losing control of his Bond Brothers Construction truck and colliding with the pole.
As a result, the pole was severed from its post and landed along the truck’s windshield causing significant damage. In addition to knocking down many wires, several large transformer boxes came crashing to the ground.
Crews continued working on the damage into saturday, which resulted in the closure of State Street in the area where the accident occurred.