The driver of an SUV that crashed into the electric substation in Masury Tuesday morning (Oct. 29), knocking out power to parts of Sharon and Hermitage, was drunk and had drugs on him, Brookfield police said.
Patrolman Cody Dean said he was patrolling at about 2:30 a.m. on Stateline Road near Sharon Bedford Road when he saw a “large flash of light to the west.”
Dean said he heard Sharon police radio that they had lost power in the city, and saw a smaller flash in the same direction as the first.
Dean said he found a Chevy Equinox next to the substation in the 1300 block of Hubbard Masury Road, and identified the driver standing with residents, who said they heard a loud boom and went to investigate.
“There were more flashes and loud arcing noises,” Dean said.
promoDean sent the residents home and moved the driver, Collin M. Gilbert, 24, of Youngstown, to a safer area, he said.
Gilbert was “obviously intoxicated,” smelling strongly of alcohol and slurring his speech, and had a small cut on his forehead, Dean said. Gilbert refused treatment, denied having pain or “feeling anything from the crash,” and “advised that he was an athlete and that he was fine,” Dean said.
Gilbert said he had consumed “two pitchers of beer and another beer,” Dean said.
Gilbert said he was coming from Buffalo Wild Wings in Boardman and was heading to Poland, while the GPS on his phone said he was going to Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, Austintown, Dean said.
Police waited for Ohio Edison to arrive before searching the SUV, because there were power lines near it, Dean said.
Patrolman Gerald Hockey reported finding four Xanax bars – high-dosage pills of the prescription drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorder – and a baggie with marijuana leaves and white power residue in Gilbert’s wallet.
Dean said he asked Gilbert to give a urine sample to test for the presence of Xanax in his system, which would account for the results of one of the field sobriety tests.
Gilbert was issued citations and summonses charging him with drunken driving, possession of Xanax, open container and failure to control, Dean said.