A stolen vehicle involved in a police chase crashed into a utility pole late Wednesday in Independence, causing power outage in the area around 35th Street and Lee's Summit Road that lasted into Thursday afternoon for some customers. Part of Lee’s Summit Road was closed well into the evening.
Police tracked down the driver from the stolen pickup truck after he tried to run away on the railroad tracks.
According to the city of Independence, about 2,700 customers had lost power at 1 a.m., but by 4 a.m. all but 20 had been restored. The rest regained power by 3 p.m. However, repair work with the poles lasted through the evening, causing police to block off Lee's Summit Road for through traffic between Kiger Road/34th Terrace and 39th Street.
According to police, officers spotted the stolen pickup truck about 8 p.m. Wednesday outside a home in the 800 block of North Crow Avenue in the Susquehanna neighborhood, with a man asleep inside. They set up a tire puncture on site and stop sticks nearby, and when the man woke up he decided to flee.
Three tires were spiked, but he continued to drive south on Missouri 291. Police stopped the chase two different times due to the man's erratic driving, including into oncoming traffic, but were able to track him due to sparks from the tire rims.
When officers came upon the crash, they ran after the suspect along the nearby railroad tracks before and found him trying to hide in the snow. The man suffered injuries from the crash and was treated at a hospital. Police say they found a gun and drugs in his vehicle and called for a tow truck at 8:40 p.m.
Damage to another utility pole also caused a separate power outage and road closure Wednesday morning in the area of Missouri 7 and Bundschu Road on the east edge of Independence. The pole had been damaged the day before, the city said, but the outage that affected 770 customers didn't happen until about 8 a.m. By 9:20 all customers had regained power., and Missouri 7 was reopened later in the day.