BATAVIA – Three Batavia High School students were in a car crash early Feb. 9 that took out a light pole and an electrical box, causing $8,000 in damage and a power outage. The car involved in the crash also struck a car parked in a driveway, which was pushed into a garage door, damaging it, police said.
Batavia Public Works Director Gary Holm stated in an email that electric crews were dispatched for four hours on an emergency basis to repair the damage.
“A total of six customers were without power during the outage,” Holm’s email stated. “The light pole was approximately $1,000 and the transformer was approximately $3,000. Also, this outage occurred at a time of day when we pay our crews double-time to respond.”
The crash happened shortly before 2 a.m. in the 1500 block of Haines Drive at the intersection with Taubert Drive, and woke a neighbor, Julie Waterman, who said, “It was an explosive sound.”
“It was not a car crash sound with squealing brakes,” Waterman said. “It was just a ‘Boom!’ and everything went black. I had fallen asleep with my TV on and my light on. And when I woke up, in that split second, everything went black.”
Waterman said she joined other neighbors who went outside. She said the parkway light pole was sheared off at the base and the electrical transformer box next to it was completely gone from its cement pad, which caused the power outage.
Waterman said power was restored about 5:30 a.m.
“I believe the light pole flew over to [a neighbor’s] garage, because when I went out there, it was laying parallel to his garage door. … It clipped the edge of his garage and fell in front of the door,” Waterman said.
A neighbor’s 2016 Nissan Sentra, which had been parked in the driveway, also had been struck, pushing it into the garage door, she said.
“When I went out there, the car that was in the accident was on its side, on the ... driver’s side wheels. And the passenger side wheels were balanced up against the car that had been pushed ... that was parked in the driveway,” Waterman said.
“When I looked out the window from my bedroom, one of the reasons I went flying down was I could see lights on inside the car, flashing turn signals, that sort of thing,” Waterman said. “But I could also see some fire on the ground and it must have been from the transformer, right near that car. I saw that flame – and yikes.”
Waterman said she was grateful the car did not go into any houses and cause injuries.
“They could have hit that house. They could have hit my house,” Waterman said. “It was very scary. To think that could happen right here. Gosh, it could have been a lot worse.”
Batavia police did not issue a news release about the crash, but Watch Commander of Investigations Eric Blowers answered questions about the incident via email after a Freedom of Information Act request was denied. Officials cited an exemption because juveniles were involved.
Two 16-year-old girls and a 16-year-old boy were in the car, a 2013 Volkswagon Passat, according to Blowers’ email.
The girls were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. One of them reported having minor injuries while the other went as a precaution, according to the email.
The driver was headed north on Taubert Drive at a T-intersection with Haines Drive. The driver attempted to turn onto Haines, but was unable to negotiate the turn and drove across Haines, the email stated.
There was no alcohol in the car, but all three had consumed alcohol. Charges were filed against all three requiring appearances in branch court, the email stated.
The residents of the house that was hit were not home. A message was left for them tucked in the front door and was not immediately returned.