Car crash causes power outage on San Juan Island

A single-car accident on Saturday, Oct. 7 cut power to San Juan Island’s west side for about seven hours. The driver, 38-year-old Edgar Plaza Santoyo, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.

According to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office report, Santoyo rolled his Toyota pickup over an electrical power box at around 5 p.m. on the northbound side of West Valley Road. The vehicle “ripped the metal case from the ground, causing damage to internal wires,” continued the report.

An OPALCO representative said power was out from about 5 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.

Bill Cumming, a retired county sheriff after 24 years of service, said he was the first person on the scene.

“Dust was still in the air, but nothing was moving,” said Cumming, who was driving from Roche Harbor to town when he passed the accident.

Cumming said he cut Santoyo out of his seatbelt, which was restricting his breathing. Another driver, who stopped afterwards, helped Cumming remove Santoyo out of the truck. A third driver who stopped was a doctor, said Cumming, who started to examine Santoyo as emergency services arrived.

Beer cans were allegedly found in the vehicle and Santoyo had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, stated the police report.

Santoyo was transported to Peace Island Medical Center, where deputies tested his blood for alcohol after obtaining a warrant. The report stated he broke his arm.