Suspected intoxicated driver blamed for power outage

Kimberly Rubio

Assistant editor

Richard D. Havens, 48, crashed into a utility pole on South Fourth Street on Saturday night, resulting in one of two late-night power outages.

The second power outage occurred after a transformer ignited near Amistad Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 200 Riverside Drive. Hundreds of residents and employees were evacuated as a result.

The wreck occurred at approximately 9:37 p.m. near the intersection of Fourth and Garden streets.

According to the Uvalde Police Department, Havens was traveling east on East Garden Street when he turned onto South Fourth Street and collided with the pole. Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department was also dispatched to the scene.

The collision resulted in the loss of power for some American Electric Power Texas customers, but spokesman Rita Parrish said a total number of customers affected was not available at the time the newspaper was to be printed.

“He said that he moved over for a vehicle driving northbound on South Fourth Street and he struck the utility pole,” said Lt. Mariano Pargas. “After further investigation, Richard Havens was found to be intoxicated and was arrested for driving while intoxicated with an open container of alcohol.”

Havens, a resident of 837 Skylane Drive South, was booked into the Uvalde County Jail.

South Fourth Street resident Lisa Allen heard the impact and rushed outside to offer assistance.

“As soon as I saw the crash, I yelled for my daughter to call 911,” Allen said. “I got him out of his vehicle. He just kept saying he was OK. An officer happened to be in the area, heard it on the radio, and was here within a few minutes.”

Allen said Havens’ clothing was drenched with beer and he seemed intoxicated.

Transformer fire

Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department was called away from the South Fourth Street wreckage just before 11 p.m., when a caller phoned 911 to report a transformer fire near 200 Riverside Drive.

“As we were there waiting on the wrecker and AEP to arrive, a transformer blew up and we got called out to that,” said UVFD fire chief Gene Ayala.

The fire was extinguished without incident and firefighters were back at the station just after midnight.

The incident resulted in the loss of power for some American Electric Power Texas customers, but numbers were not available by yesterday afternoon. An estimated cost of damages was also not available.

krubio@ulnnow.com, 278-3335



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