A typical response after someone crashes into a power pole and swallows a power line is not to turn up the radio and gulp down some whiskey.
But again, nothing about this recent incident at Wyandotte was typical.
The incident began minutes after midnight on January 31 when officers responded to a call about a vehicle crashing into a utility pole on Ford Avenue and 15th Street.
The pole was completely destroyed and the striking vehicle was unusable, resting on the shoulder of the road. Debris was strewn throughout the area. Police say the vehicle hit the post with enough force to shear an entire wheel off the axle.
But the danger did not stop after the accident. A live wire was draped over the vehicle, as the driver sat inside.
Wyandotte police officers approached the vehicle, yelling at the 49-year-old not to get out until he was sure to do so.
“Despite the urgency of the matter, the man turned up the volume on his car stereo while drinking from an open liquor bottle,” Deputy Chief Constable Archie Hamilton said. “The man tried to get out of the vehicle several times; however, officers begged him to stay inside due to the risk of electrocution. Although officers put their own safety at risk, the man treated the situation as a joke by continuing to play loud music while taunting officers as he drank alcohol behind the wheel.
Eventually, officers and firefighters managed to get the man out of his vehicle safely. Police said he showed clear signs of being intoxicated, so he was arrested for operating while intoxicated.
Refusing to take breath tests, police obtained a search warrant to test his blood for alcohol content.
“Ultimately, the man was criminally charged and held at the Wyandotte Police Department,” Hamilton said. “I commend these officers not only for saving this man’s life, but also for their patience and professionalism.”