DRACUT — A Dracut resident said he was inside his home near the corner of Sladen and Hildreth streets on Saturday when he heard a loud crash and a car horn blaring, then saw a spark of light.
He went outside to see a utility pole sheared off and laying in Hildreth Street along with its wires. Roughly 80 feet away, a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck that struck the pole had crashed into the front corner of the Department of Public Works building.
The wreck led to the arrest of Michael Gagnon, 50, of Dracut, who was charged with operation of a motor vehicle under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, marked lanes violation and two counts of possession of an open container of alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle, according to police.
Police Chief Peter Bartlett said in a press release that the crash, which caused extensive damage to the DPW building, remains under investigation.
After veering off the road and striking a utility pole just after 4 p.m., Gagnon’s vehicle traveled into the brick portion of the DPW building, which was empty at the time.
Multiple witnesses who lived in the area, and wished to remain anonymous, said they watched as police gave Gagnon a field sobriety test. The testing ended with the man being placed into handcuffs, loaded into a cruiser and driven away from the scene.
Gagnon, who was evaluated by emergency medical personnel at the scene, did not suffer any serious injuries.
“We are very fortunate that this crash was not more serious, and we are very relieved that no one was inside the building or walking in the area at the time,” Bartlett stated in the release.
The building will be evaluated by a building inspector before it is allowed to reopen.
According to the National Grid’s online power outage map, rouhgly 10 customers were without power for several hours following the crash. A small portion of the Hildreth Street was closed until around 11:20 p.m. while emergency crews cleaned up the scene.
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