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Crash severs power pole in Lemolo; driver booked on DUI charge

LEMOLO — A 41-year-old Suquamish man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Tuesday after his truck left the road and struck a Puget Sound Energy power pole, knocking electricity out in that neighborhood.

The Sheriff’s Department reported that Thomas Hults’ blood alcohol level measured .177 and .170 in two Breathalyzer tests, more than twice the legal limit of .08. He was arrested and booked into jail on $5,000 bail.

9-1-1 dispatch received its first call at 9:21 p.m. of a possible collision in the  17000 block of Lemolo Shore Drive NE in the 17000 block. Other callers reported a loud crash and that electrical power was disrupted. Poulsbo Police Officer Shawn Ziemann arrived at the scene five minutes later and advised that a power pole and lines were down; 9-1-1 notified Puget Sound Energy.

A sheriff’s deputy closed the roadway on the southeast side of Lemolo Shore Drive just northwest of Johnson Way NE. A power pole on the south side of the roadway next to the water had been sheared off at the base and was lying on the shoulder. The power lines were hanging down over the roadway, but just high enough for vehicles to pass under. Hults’ Ford F-250 pickup truck had come to rest on the beach just southeast of where it had crashed into the power pole.

Hults’ left arm was bandaged and his hands covered with blood when investigators questioned him, according to the incident report. Hults said he was traveling southeast on Lemolo Shore Drive from Poulsbo and was trying to answer his phone to speak with his ex-wife when he drove off of the roadway. He said he was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision and his vehicle did not have an airbag in it. He told investigators he drank two 16-ounce glasses of beer at dinner at a Silverdale restaurant about an hour before the crash.

He failed the field sobriety tests before submitting to the Breathalyzer tests, according to the incident report.

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