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LAGUNA BEACH : Crash Causes Power Outage, Traffic Snarl

A suspected drunken driver crashed his truck into a utility pole on Laguna Canyon Road early Wednesday, briefly cutting off power to nearly 500 homes and snarling coastal traffic for much of the day, authorities said.

The driver, Keith Thomas McCollough, 22, of Irvine, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and taken to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo for treatment of injuries, Sgt. Bob Rayhouser said.

McCollough was in serious condition at the hospital Wednesday with several broken bones, a possible head injury and cuts, a hospital spokeswoman said.

McCollough was driving north on Laguna Canyon Road near Castle Rock Road about 4 a.m. when his Chevrolet Blazer veered off the road and toppled a power pole and transformer, Rayhouser said. He did not know how fast McCollough was driving.

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No one else was involved in the crash.

Rayhouser said officers who arrested McCollough reported that they noted the smell of alcohol on his breath and that he was slurring his words.

The accident caused the closing of Laguna Canyon Road to all but local traffic from Coast Highway to El Toro Road. After six hours, police opened one lane while workers replaced the pole and fallen lines. North- and southbound drivers were forced to takes turns on the single lane through late afternoon.

Power was restored to all but 15 of the 490 affected homes in about an hour, and repairs were expected to bring electricity to the others by Wednesday night, said Criss Brown, a spokesman for Southern California Edison. The area affected by the outage extended as far north as the San Diego Freeway, Brown said.

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