Port Orchard man crashes his car into utility pole in apparent suicide attempt

A Port Orchard man who took out a stop sign, fire hydrant and utility pole Friday afternoon, snarling traffic and knocking out power to half of Port Orchard for at least two hours, was apparently trying to commit suicide, according to the Port Orchard Police Department.

Chief Al Townsend said the 20-year-old told at least one witness and the responding officers that he slammed his car into the pole on Melcher Street at the corner of Pottery Avenue around 3 p.m. Friday because he was distraught over personal problems.

“Everyone was feeling his pain,” Townsend said, explaining that traffic was piled up for hours, the Kitsap County Courthouse effectively shut down and power remained out in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the area — including homes on Heron Ridge Avenue, Golden Pond Street and Eaglecrest Place — until approximately 5 a.m. the next day.

According to the police report, the incident began when a witness waiting at a stop sign on Eaglecrest and Pottery reported seeing a red Ford Escort approaching the intersection traveling at approximately 55 to 60 mph.

The witness said she feared the car was going to hit her, but said instead it ran over a stop sign, hit a pole head-on, spraying power and phone lines across Melcher Street, and toppled a fire hydrant before coming to rest against a guard rail.

When officers arrived on scene, the driver had been almost completely ejected from the vehicle but was alert and talking to officers.

He complained of not being able to feel his legs, and there was a large gash on his head.

He was later airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

There were no other injuries reported.

The incident report was forwarded to the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office for possible criminal charges, including reckless driving.

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