Cranberry crashes cut power; two arrested



CRANBERRY ISLES — No one was seriously injured, but two Great Cranberry Island residents were arrested after the vehicles they were driving were totaled in simultaneous accidents Saturday night on Cranberry Road.

About 4,000 Emera Maine customers on the Cranberry Isles and Mount Desert Island lost power as a result of one of the vehicles striking and breaking a utility pole. Power was restored to the MDI customers within a couple of hours and to the Cranberry customers the next morning.

William Ferreira, 19, was charged with aggravated criminal mischief and operating without a license. Joseph Sanchez-Flores, 20, was charged with criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized use of property.

Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputies Eric McLaughlin and Dan Harlan investigated the accidents and arrested the drivers.

McLaughlin said the 2002 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Sanchez-Flores was following the 1998 Subaru Legacy driven by Ferreira, and that both were traveling too fast for road conditions.

“The operators of both vehicles failed to negotiate a sharp turn in the road and both vehicles went off the roadway right,” McLaughlin wrote in his report on the accident.

“[The Subaru] collided with a telephone pole, breaking the pole off, and overturned onto its roof. [The Volkswagen] collided with a tree and then overturned onto its roof. Both operators left the scene and failed to report the crash.”

McLaughlin said both drivers sustained minor injuries.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle that nobody was killed,” McLaughlin said.

He and Harlan were transported to Great Cranberry by the Maine Marine Patrol.

The vehicle accidents occurred at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We had to disrupt service to about 4,000 customers right after the crash so they could make the scene safe,” Emera spokeswoman Judy Long said. “I understand that the lines were down and there may have been some arcing of the lines. So, our system operators cut service to that line to make sure no one was injured because of the live electrical lines being on the ground.”

The power line from the mainland that serves the Cranberry Isles was shut down at the substation in Somesville, which affected customers in Southwest Harbor and Tremont. Long said that line was reactivated around 11 p.m. Saturday, restoring power to the Mount Desert Island customers.

She said an Emera repair crew took a John W. Goodwin Jr. Construction barge from Northeast Harbor to Great Cranberry on Sunday and restored power to the roughly 375 island customers by 10 a.m.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the repair crew took the mail boat ferry to the island Sunday morning.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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