The power outage
which affected 1,150 NIPSCO customers on Tuesday--including Porter Regional
Hospital and Chesterton High School--was caused when a motorist struck a
pole located at the northeast corner of Ind. 149 and 1050N and snapped it
into three pieces.
One of those pieces
came to rest in the northbound lane of Ind. 149 and 20 minutes after the
initial accident two more motorists struck it.
So the Chesterton
Police Department is reporting today.
police, at 4:40 a.m. Robert L. Kreloff, 19, of Valparaiso, was northbound on
Ind. 149 when, immediately north of 1050N, he left the roadway to the east
and struck the pole, coming to rest in a field with the pole’s guy wires
wrapped around it.”
escaped injury--stated “that he did not know why he ran off the road” but
that “he was slightly tired,” police said.
Then, 20 minutes
later, at 5 a.m., Bill A. DeLong, 60, of Hobart, was northbound on Ind. 149
when he struck the portion of the pole left in the roadway. Police said that
DeLong also escaped injury but that his passenger, Christopher M. Sherman,
44, of Valparaiso, complained of back pain and was transported to hospital.
One minute later,
at 5:01 a.m., Michael V. Hrunek, 60, of Valparaiso, was also northbound on
Ind. 149 when he too struck the pole. Hrunek was not injured in the crash.
total damage to Kreloff’s 2006 Jeep Commander and the pole at up to $25,000;
that to DeLong’s 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe at up to $10,000, and that to
Hrunek’s 2003 Chevrolet Impala at up to $10,000.
Police said that
both the north- and southbound lanes of Ind. 149 were closed at 1050N from
5:05 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.
All but 430
customers had their power restored by shortly after 8 a.m. The remainder got
their juice back by 2 p.m. Although Porter Regional Hospital was affected by
the outage, its facilities were powered by backup generation, NIPSCO told
the Chesterton Tribune. Summer-school students at CHS, meanwhile,
were bused to Chesterton Middle School for classes on Tuesday, then bused
back to CHS at the end of the day.