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Toms River Man Hits Utility Pole with Car Causing Fires, Power Outages

Toms River

On Sunday, January 17, at approximately 8:00 p.m. police units were dispatched to the intersection of Bay Avenue and Tanglewood Road for reports of a motor vehicle accident with two utility poles damaged. 

According to police, Wilfredo Flores, 47 of Toms River, was traveling east on Bay Avenue. While negotiating a curve in the roadway, he allegedly answered a call on his cellular phone. As a result, Mr. Flores swerved off the roadway to the right hitting a curb and a utility pole. 

Police report that this impact split the pole in half and subsequently damaged a second pole due to excessive wire tension. After impact, Mr. Flores fled east and was subsequently stopped by a concerned citizen. 

According to police, Mr. Flores was arrested and charged with DWI following an on-scene investigation into his sobriety.

Officials said that several neighborhoods on the east side of town were without power throughout the night while Verizon and JCP&L worked to repair the damaged poles. The downed primaries ignited two brush fires that were quickly extinguished by Toms River Fire Companies 1 and 2. Traffic Lights were out between Vaughn Avenue & Indian Hill, along Bay Avenue as a result of the accident.

According to officials, Mr. Flores was charged with Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Report an Accident, Unregistered Vehicle, and a Cell Phone Violation. The vehicle was impounded as per John’s Law. The accident is being investigated by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Robert Westfall.

The public is reminded that criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.


Photo credit: Dan Nardini