West Bath man charged with OUI after crash snaps pole, 800 lose power

Posted July 23, 2012, at 2:53 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 07, 2012, at 11:43 a.m.

BATH, Maine — Nearly 800 customers in Bath and West Bath lost electricity for about an hour and a half early Sunday morning after a West Bath man allegedly crashed into a Central Maine Power pole on Leeman Highway, snapping the pole in three places.

Andrew S. McNelly, 28, of West Bath was charged with operating under the influence following the incident, which occurred at 12:38 a.m. Sunday, Bath Police Lt. Stan Cielinski said today.

Bath police, fire and rescue personnel responded to the southbound lane of Leeman Highway near the Clipper Mart where the 2005 red Dodge Magnum station wagon McNelly was driving had struck the pole and rolled, landing on its roof in the middle of the road, snapping the pole and leaving a wire hanging across the entrance to the convenience store, police said.

With a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour, Cielinski said today, “To do that kind of damage to the car and the pole would indicate that [McNelly] was going significantly faster than 35 miles per hour.”

Bath Police Officer Michael Lever arrested McNelly for operating under the influence. He was released on $850 unsecured bail and is scheduled to appear in West Bath District Court on Sept. 4.

McNelly, who was the sole occupant of the station wagon, was treated at the scene for a minor scrape on the back of his hand, according to Cielinski.

The southbound lanes of Leeman Highway were closed briefly while fire officials cleared the roadway.

Nearly 800 CMP customers in Bath and West Bath lost power from just after 1 a.m. until about 2:30 a.m., CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said today, although four customers were still out until 7 a.m.

Cielinski asked anyone who witnessed the crash to contact officers Michael Lever or Ted Raedel of the Bath Police Department at 443-5563.

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