AMHERST — Neighbors were jolted out of bed early Saturday by the noise as a Toyota Corolla jumped the shoulder of South Lake Street near Beach Cliff Drive and hit a utility pole.
“We thought it was an explosion,” said Judith Ingersoll, who ran to the window with her husband, Charles.
Police — who are still investigating the crash and would not release names Saturday — say the 46-year-old driver was heading south at 1:10 a.m. and missed a curve.
The car went off the east side of the road and slammed into a pole, taking out a transformer and cutting power to houses and traffic lights in the southern half of the city, said Sgt. Mark Cawthon.
A passenger, 41, who officers said appeared to be intoxicated, was not wearing a seat belt and slammed into the windshield, Cawthon said.
The man wandered into a wooded area before officers arrived, Cawthon said. He was found less than a mile away trying to reach his home at the Pine Crest Apartments and was taken to Amherst Hospital for treatment.
Cawthon said he believes the driver suffered internal injuries. He was taken to CHP Regional Medical Center in Lorain and then by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Sgt. Brian Brancatelli said.
Police suspect that the driver had also been drinking and expect to file charges once he is released from the hospital, Brancatelli said.
Contact Jason Hawk at 653-6264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.