February 12, 2012 by JENNIFER BARRIOS / firstname.lastname@example.org
A Holtsville man was arrested early Sunday after he drove while intoxicated and crashed his car into a pole, seriously injuring himself and his passenger and causing live wires to drop onto the car, Suffolk police said.
Robert McDowell, 24, was driving a 2005 Nissan south on Blue Point Road near Buckley Road at 4:30 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, striking a pole.
His passenger, girlfriend Courtney Lester, 21, of Holtsville, was thrown from the vehicle, police said.
The impact caused the utility pole to crash down on the roof of the Nissan, draping the car in live electrical wires, said Det. Sgt. Alan Feinstein.
LIPA had to be called to cut the power to the grid so that rescuers could free McDowell from his vehicle, Feinstein said. The rescue took about an hour.
Both McDowell and Lester suffered serious injuries and were taken by the Holtsville Fire Department to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue. Both are expected to recover.
McDowell was charged with driving while intoxicated and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Authorities are determining whether McDowell will have a bedside arraignment, or whether his arraignment will be delayed while he recovers.
The vehicle was impounded. Police ask anyone who has more information on this incident to call the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. Calls will remain confidential.