A suspected drunken driver on Porter Creek Road hit a power pole early Tuesday, knocking the pole and lines down, leading to an all-day closure of the busy rural commute route, the CHP said.
The roadway was closed from Calistoga Road to Franz Valley Road following the 2:45 a.m. crash just west of Calistoga Road. The road was reopened about 12 hours later in time to avoid complications with the afternoon commute, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
It was the second time in one week involving a crash into a power pole that dropped live lines onto vehicles and affected commuters between Santa Rosa and Napa and Lake counties.
Officers early Tuesday arrested Ruby Rose Areyan, 22, of Santa Rosa, suspecting she was driving drunk as she headed west in a BMW sedan and hit the pole, Sloat said.
The broken pole pulled down power lines and some fell onto the BMW. A fire official said two drivers came upon the crash and also became tangled in lines. The three drivers reportedly were trapped for about 40 minutes until PG&E turned off power.
“The important thing was everybody stayed put in their vehicles until PG&E got them out,” said Central Fire Battalion Chief Mike Elson, who responded to the crash.
Areyan, who wasn’t injured, appeared intoxicated and was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI after she failed sobriety tests, Sloat said. She remained in the Sonoma County Jail Tuesday afternoon with bail set at $10,000.
Mark West Springs Road, which morphs into Porter Creek Road, connects northwest Santa Rosa to Napa County and is used by many commuting from Lake County into Santa Rosa. Porter Creek Road’s eastside equivalent is Calistoga Road. Both rural, picturesque routes are at times narrow and winding.
On Tuesday, travelers were directed to use Calistoga Road.
It was the reverse detour on April 19, when a Calistoga Road crash closed that route through the morning and evening commutes.
“When you get a crash on either Calistoga Road or Porter Creek, it puts a heavier demand on the other side,” said Michael Hammerich, a Santa Rosa resident who Tuesday had to use the Calistoga route to get to his job on Porter Creek Road. “You can’t win.”