Driver sought after leaving Potsdam accident that cut power to 1,600 customers
Friday, May 20, 2016 - 11:38 am


POTSDAM – A motor vehicle accident on Lawrence Avenue this morning caused a momentary power outage to about 1,600 electric customers and apparently started a small grass fire.

Potsdam police are looking for a male driver who reportedly fled the scene after he drove his vehicle into a pole on the side of the road between A.A. Kingston Middle School and a power substation at about 9:10 a.m.

The Potsdam Fire Department put out the fire, police said, and National Grid workers were on the scene.

Based on what witnesses told them, police are looking for a red two-door sports car with Georgia plates that might begin with GBE.

The witnesses said the driver, a young male, left the road, hit the pole without knocking it down or dislodging the wires, and drove north on Rt. 11 toward Stockholm.

“The outage was what we call a ‘momentary,’” said National Grid spokeswoman Virginia Limmiatis.

But it was enough for generators at the Potsdam Police station to start up and for computer battery backups to squeal. Canton-Potsdam Hospital immediately switched to backup generators.

Limmiatis said about 1,600 customers might have noticed the brief interruption.