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Driver Flees After Crash Into Power Pole Cuts Power To Graton Casino

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A driver fled after a crash into a power pole that cut power to the new Graton Casino in Rohnert Park. (CBS)

A driver fled after a crash into a power pole that cut power to the new Graton Casino in Rohnert Park. (CBS)

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ROHNERT PARK (CBS SF) — The California Highway Patrol was looking for a driver who fled Tuesday night after a car struck a power pole in Rohnert Park, knocking out power to 3,632 PG&E customers—including the Graton Resort and Casino.

A Ford Focus was traveling north on Roberts Lake Road south of Santa Rosa Avenue near Rohnert Park just before 11 p.m. when it went off the roadway and struck the pole, CHP Sgt. Allan Capurro said.

The crash damaged a main electrical cable and knocked down power lines, and the Ford caught fire and partially burned the power pole, Capurro said.

The accident shut down Roberts Lake Road for three hours and the Santa Rosa Avenue off-ramp from northbound U.S. Highway 101 for two hours, Capurro said.

The closures, however, had little impact on traffic at that time of the night, he said.

Power was restored at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi said.

Casino spokeswoman Lori Nelson said the casino’s emergency lighting was functioning during the outage, but that the casino shut down all slot machines, then turned them back on to capture the amount that had been won by players at the time the power went out.

The casino also noted the players’ identifying information, and the players will be able to collect their winnings today and over the next few days, Nelson said.

“We were able to match each guest with their slot machine,” she said.

The machines do not dispense money—instead, players get a paper slip with a tally of their winnings.

The casino was cleared after the power went out, but normal operations resumed by 4 a.m., Nelson said. There were not many players on the casino floor when the outage began, she said.

Casino security staff helped players who were at gaming tables collect their winnings, Nelson said.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” Nelson said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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