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One-vehicle wreck knocks out power to election, JP offices; driver in critical condition

By Gheni_Platenburg
Oct. 21, 2010 at 5:21 a.m.

A Victoria man was injured after a one-vehicle wreck at the intersection of Rio Grande and North streets on Thursday afternoon. The collision knocked out power to area businesses.

A Victoria man was seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident at the intersection of Rio Grande and North streets on Thursday afternoon.

At about 3:30 p.m., a dump truck was traveling west on Rio Grande Street in the outside lane when it jumped the curb, hitting a utility pole and a carport's support beam, which caused the structure to collapse on top of the truck.

The truck's driver was trapped in his vehicle for nearly 20 minutes while American Electric Power employees worked to remove live wires from the damaged utility pole that had fallen on top of the truck, said Victoria police officer Shane Wallace.

Based on what witnesses said, the driver never hit his brakes, leading officers to think he experienced a medical ailment that led to his inability to control the vehicle.

It is unknown if the driver was wearing a seatbelt.

The driver was identified by his J&R Backhoe Services co-worker as Louis Solis, of Victoria.

His age was unknown.

Solis was taken via ambulance to DeTar Hospital.

A DeTar spokeswoman said Solis was in ICU in critical condition as of Thursday evening.

The damaged utility pole caused power outages at several buildings in the area including the justice of the peace, Precinct 3, and elections administration building, 111 N. Glass St.

Josie Salas, assistant elections administrator, said the power outage did not disrupt early voting because the voting machines had battery backups.

However, election administrators did have to register voter information with one laptop computer that had a wireless Internet card, and also by hand.

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