Motorist topples street light, nearly hits city hall

A crashed car is seen near City Hall on Tuesday night. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire)

Possibly suffering from a medical issue, an older driver struck a light pole and toppled it downtown Tuesday night, police say, then nearly ran his vehicle into city hall.


Juneau Police Department received multiple eyewitness reports starting at 7:49 p.m., officer Thomas McGrann said. The man driving the car may have fallen unconscious after hitting the pole.

JPD is not sure what caused the crash.

“He swerved into oncoming traffic … struck a light pole, continued down the wrong way and came up here at the curb,” McGrann said, based on what witnesses were saying.

“We’re thinking that he probably passed out,” McGrann added.

The car came to rest about a foot from city hall on the corner of Marine Way and South Seward Street.

JPD said the driver didn’t sustain any injuries that they know of and wasn’t complaining of any pain. He was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital about 8:30 p.m.

The street light the man struck was one of the smaller street lights at the intersection of Egan Drive and Main Street.

Cary Seifert of the Alaska Department of Transporation and Public Facilities was on hand at 8:30 p.m., placing traffic cones in the area. The car dragged the pole about 30 feet from where it once stood.

Some wiring runs into the street at the base of the pole, which Seifert and another worker inspected. He said it doesn’t pose a safety risk to pedestrians.


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