Chelsea Schreiber

Drunk driver shuts down PCH in Hermosa Beach

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HBPD arrested a woman after she swerved to avoid a DUI checkpoint and ended up taking out a power line and fire hydrant. Photo submitted by HBPD

HBPD arrested a woman after she swerved to avoid a DUI checkpoint and ended up taking out a power line and fire hydrant. Photo submitted by HBPD

On Saturday the Hermosa Beach Police Department arrested a woman on suspicion of drunk driving after she attempted to avoid a drunk driving checkpoint and crashed into a power pole and fire hydrant on Pacific Coast Highway.

“The woman driving apparently saw the signs that there was a checkpoint ahead and she swerved to avoid it and pretty much went across PCH and took out the power pole and hydrant,” HBPD Sgt. Bob Higgins said. “She ended up blowing a .21 BAC (blood alcohol content) and was arrested for a DUI.” The legal limit is a .08 BAC.

No injuries were reported from the collision, but power lines fell across PCH and the fire hydrant was severed and gushed water, resulting in a geyser and the closure of PCH for about an hour.

“PCH got shut down because there was a geyser of water and live power lines in the geyser of water,” Higgins said.

The checkpoint also resulted in 12 drunk driving arrests as well as four suspended unlicensed driver arrests. The checkpoint was set up on Artesia Boulevard, west of Prospect and was funded through the Avoid the 100 program from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Officers from Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, Hawthorne, Gardena and Inglewood also participated as well as the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Police Department. Higgins said that the HBPD usually sets up about two checkpoints a year.

“The picture doesn’t do it justice, it was such a mess,” Higgins said. “I just couldn’t get anywhere safe to take the picture.” ER

 

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