Inattentive driver arrested after accident and rescue

Inattentive driver arrested after accident and rescue

PORTSMOUTH – The driver was arrested after four people were rescued from a car that crashed into a power pole on Constitution Avenue late Wednesday, causing the pole and live wires to fall on the car and trap the occupants.

Portsmouth Police said the driver, a 31-year-old Hampstead resident, was charged with using a mobile device while driving. Police are urging all drivers to avoid illegal and dangerous distractions.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m., police and firefighters were dispatched to the area of ​​Constitution Avenue at Banfield Road. A silver Honda Civic had crashed into the utility pole and knocked it down, police said.

After Eversource crews deemed it safe, rescue crews safely extricated the passengers, police said. All four occupants were taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, with one passenger suffering serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

According to police, speed and inattention behind the wheel appeared to have contributed to the accident.

“The Portsmouth Police Department reminds all drivers to operate their vehicles safely and to focus on the vehicle and the road while driving,” police wrote in a press release Thursday. “Distracted driving and using cell phones while driving is not only illegal, it is extremely dangerous and reckless.”

The driver was charged with assault with a vehicle (a Class A misdemeanor), reckless conduct (a Class B misdemeanor), reckless operation of a motor vehicle (a violation) and use of a mobile electronic device while driving (another violation), according to Portsmouth police Sergeant Jordan Wells.

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The driver is due to appear in Portsmouth District Court at 8am on September 9.

Police thanked Eversource for helping restore power to those affected by a brief outage and the city’s public works department for temporarily diverting traffic.

The incident remains under investigation. Police ask that citizens with information about the single-vehicle crash contact Portsmouth Police Officer Zach Brandt at (603) 610-7465.