Alleged drunken driver takes out traffic lights at busy intersection

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published May 4, 2016

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A suspected late night of drinking led to the destruction of traffic lights at a busy Clinton Township intersection.

Clinton Township police said that around 3:30 a.m. on April 24 a vehicle was traveling southbound on Groesbeck Highway, ran a red light and proceeded to hit another vehicle that was traveling westbound on Metropolitan Parkway.

The vehicle that allegedly caused the accident flung into a utility pole. Sgt. Chris Allis said the pole broke in half, causing the traffic lights to crash down into the intersection.

“The at-fault car clipped the guard wire holding the pole and (the wire) literally snapped the pole in half,” Allis said. “I’ve never seen a pole get snapped in half like that. I’ve seen cars hit poles at 50 mph where it would push the pole or break the pole. I’ve never seen it snap.”

Injuries sustained by the at-fault driver were minor, Allis said.

The accident closed the intersection from about 3:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 24. Allis said the Macomb County Department of Roads and DTE Energy repaired the lights and cleaned the mess. Power at the entire intersection was cut during the ordeal.

Northbound Groesbeck was completely shut down, so vehicles traveling in that direction were forced to make a U-turn and head south. Those traveling eastbound on Metropolitan Parkway had to divert onto Groesbeck. The westbound lanes remained open, while those traveling southbound on Groesbeck had to conduct a “Michigan left” and go westbound.

The driver was investigated at the scene. Police determined that his blood alcohol content was above the legal limit, and he was taken into police custody.

At press time Allis said the individual in question is expected to be charged by the county. He is a 23-year-old man from Sterling Heights whose name was withheld.

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