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Freeway Is Open but More Repairs Due

Times Staff Writer

All lanes on the northbound San Diego Freeway were reopened early Monday morning, more than 7 hours after a driver suspected of being drunk ran into a power pole, downing high voltage lines and clogging Easter holiday traffic.

And officials were scheduled to close all lanes on the freeway in both directions for 2 hours --from midnight Monday until 2 a.m. today--to finish repairing the lines.

The accident occurred on the Westminster Boulevard off-ramp to the northbound San Diego Freeway about 7:10 p.m. Sunday. The driver of a Mazda pickup ran through a guy wire, which jerked down the top of a power pole, leaving the T-bar dangling and casting electrical cables carrying 12,000 volts across the freeway from Willow Avenue to Springdale Street in Westminster, officials said.

Traffic was backed up for 12 miles in both directions as highway officials tried to divert motorists onto side streets. All lanes were reopened about 2:15 a.m. Monday.

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The accident also cut power to about 4,500 homes and businesses for several hours in a 4-square-mile area of Westminster and Huntington Beach, including Westminster Mall.

The CHP said that all southbound lanes of the San Diego Freeway--from Bolsa Avenue to Springdale Street--would be closed at midnight while Edison workers restored the downed power lines.

All lanes of the northbound San Diego Freeway also were to be closed from Magnolia Street to Beach Boulevard.

The driver of the vehicle that caused the traffic snarl, Adrian Garcia, 22, of San Clemente, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, officials said.

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Garcia, who was treated for minor injuries, was cited and released from Orange County Jail.


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