Driver dies in wreck that knocks down utility poles

Xcel trucks brace power poles as workers repair damage to three of them caused by a fiery crash Wednesday on Broadway.

Authorities are having difficulty identifying the man who died after being involved in a single-car crash on Broadway west of Redlands Parkway that downed several power lines at about midnight Tuesday.

The man appeared to be the lone occupant of the passenger car that struck and knocked over several utility poles, then caught fire, according to Grand Junction police spokeswoman Heidi Davidson.

“Identification of this individual has been challenging due to the condition of the body with extensive thermal burns,” Mesa County Coroner Dean Havlik wrote in an email Wednesday afternoon. “We do know it is an adult male. Our office will be working on his identification over the ensuing several days.”

The man died of thermal burns, Havlik wrote.

Broadway was closed between Redlands Parkway and Reed Mesa Drive most of Wednesday as crews worked to replace the downed utility lines. As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, one lane remained closed and traffic was being directed in alternate directions.

About 600 Xcel Energy customers were without power for about three hours early Wednesday after the wreck, according to company spokesman Mark Stutz. At 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, about 40 customers were still without power, although Stutz said at the time power was expected to be restored by 5 p.m.

Some residents were unable to access internet, confirmed Bret Picciolo, a spokesman for Charter Communications. Picciolo did not provide numbers of affected customers, citing his company’s policy, but said services were restored about 9 a.m.

No Grand Valley Power customers were affected by the outage, according to company spokeswoman Christmas Wharton.


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