WEST JORDAN, Utah – A 27-year-old man is in custody after police say he ran his car into a power box, then crashed into the side of a house in West Jordan early Sunday morning. Police say the man was driving drunk, and the crash left hundreds of residents without power for several hours.
“I heard a big pop, and I roll over in bed and ask my wife what that was, and then I see a big flash and another pop,” said Paul Vanslyke, the resident of the home the driver hit.
Paul and his wife Cheryl Vanslyke were asleep in bed when the car hit a stop sign, crashed into a power box, then ran into their home around 2:30 Sunday morning.
“We thought at first it was just an explosion, that for some reason, it exploded,” Cheryl Vanslyke said.
They thought the power box had malfunctioned, but when they walked around the home, they found a car crashed into the side of their house, located at the corner of Cougar Lane and Banquet Avenue.
“I didn’t know if people were dead or alive,” Cheryl Vanslyke said. “We could smell gas.”
The car broke a gas line. Police say the combination of gas and electricity could have resulted in a large explosion.
“The electricity, plus the gas-mix definitely could have been a bigger problem than what it was,” said Officer Nelson Vargas with the West Jordan Police Department. “Luckily, it didn’t happen that way.”
Hundreds of residents were without power Sunday morning. Crews were out fixing the power box throughout the day.
“I never expected anyone to pop that power box off like that,” Paul Vanslyke said.
Police say they could smell alcohol in the car when they arrived.
“They conducted some field sobriety tests with the driver, [and] determined that this driver was under the influence,” Vargas said.
The driver, 27-year-old Alex Cushing, was taken to the Salt Lake County Jail.
Police say the Cushing is facing multiple charges, including driving under the influence and traffic violations.