Van towed from scene after crash causes power outage in NMB
North Myrtle Beach police arrested a man who left the scene after crashing into a power pole, causing 11,000 people to be without power Tuesday night.
Rickey Lee Watkins, 58, of North Myrtle Beach, is charged with driving under the influence, driving under suspension and leaving the scene of a crash.
Officers responded to Hill Street and Little River Neck Road for a report of a collision Tuesday night. Police said a white van collided with a Santee Cooper power pole and snapped the top off, which supported high-tension wires. Power was cut to everything north of Main Street.
Residents who heard the collision saw the driver leaving the scene on foot, heading toward the Palmetto Shores subdivision, authorities said. Police found Watkins at 1723 25th Ave. North. He admitted to operating the van and voluntarily surrendered to officers, police said.
Watkins was later transported from the jail to the hospital for a possible medical emergency and consented to his blood being drawn at the hospital. Results are pending in the case.
Santee Cooper workers were still on scene Wednesday morning repairing damage and replacing the pole.
North Myrtle Beach Public Safety is directing traffic at the site.