An Akron man has been charged with drunken driving after crashing into three utility poles on West Main Street this weekend.
Kent Police charged Daniel Vondrak, 22, with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor, and failure to keep reasonable control of his vehicle, a minor misdemeanor, after an accident early Sunday.
Vondrak was driving eastbound on S.R. 59 at a high rate of speed near Spaulding Boulevard when his Toyota Camry hit the curb and then struck a wooden utility pole, which was thrown 15 feet from the point of impact, according to Kent Police.
Vondrak's Camry slammed into a traffic signal support pole before coming to rest on top of a car in the parking lot of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Kent Police Lt. James Prusha said, remarkably, members of the Kent Fire Department did not have to cut Vondrak from his car.
"It sounds like the injuries, if there were any, were just minor," Prusha said.
The toppled utility polls caused collateral damage to a second car parked in the rental car lot. The crash happened at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Kent Service Director Gene Roberts said city employees spent 14 hours Sunday clearing the mess and installing a temporary traffic signal at Spaulding Drive.
Roberts said the cost to replace the traffic sign, which included the pedestrian signal and controlling equipment, will be rather high because it is an older pole and must be upgraded to meet requirements from FirstEnergy.
"We won’t be too far from $100,000 when we’re done," he said. "How much of that’s covered with insurance, we have to wait and see. We will turn the costs over to our insurance carrier, and typically our insurance carrier goes after his insurance carrier to recoup that cost."
The temporary traffic signal installed Sunday will likely remain through the winter. Roberts said the earliest he anticipates installing a permanent replacement at the intersection is by April 2013.
"I’ve seen some strange flipped over, rolled over cars," he said. "I’ve never seen one that takes out a section of a wooden electric pole and travels the distance it did … and sheer off a metal restraining pole. It was a pretty substantial impact."