An Englewood Cliffs man was charged with drunk driving after allegedly crashing into a telephone pole late Tuesday night and bringing down live wires across Lemoine Avenue at Hoym Street in Fort Lee, police said.
Lemoine remained closed between Main Street and Whiteman Street Wednesday morning, snarling rush hour traffic in the borough, and police said the section of road wasn’t expected to reopen until late afternoon or early evening.
Fort Lee police were detouring traffic at intersections leading to the scene Wednesday morning, and PSE&G crews were working at the scene near Whiteman Plaza, where wires remained on the ground across the entire roadway.
Palisades Avenue was open leading to the George Washington Bridge, but traffic was backed up.
The crash occurred at about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, when police allege Eric Shorser, 52, was travelling north on Lemoine Avenue and drove his 2004 Jeep Wrangler off the road and into the pole.
The force of the crash brought the pole and live wires down, forcing police to shut down the section of Lemoine and set up detours, said Capt. Keith Bendul of the Fort Lee Police Department.
The Fort Lee Fire Department, Ambulance Corps and PSE&G also responded to the scene, and Shorser was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Bendul said.
Shorser was charged with careless driving, Driving While Intoxicated and DWI within 1,000 feet of a school, Bendul said.
Fort Lee School No. 1 is just up Hoym Street from where the crash occurred.
Bendul said the road closure would remain in effect until PSE&G crews finish their work, which he expected to be sometime Wednesday afternoon or evening.
“They’ve got to replace the pole, and then they have to bring the transformers up, the lines up and reinstall them up onto the pole itself,” Bendul said.
He also noted that Fort Lee police are participating in the state’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign throughout the holidays, urging motorists not to drink and drive.
“We’ve got extra patrols out looking and focusing on intoxicated drivers,” Bendul said. “If people are out celebrating and they find that they’ve had something to drink, [they should] seek alternative ways to get home—get a cab, have a friend drive them or have a designated driver.”
Officials announced just before 4 p.m. Wednesday via the borough's Nixle Alert Notifcation system that the section of Lemoine had reopened.