EL SOBRANTE -- A driver distracted by a cell phone slammed into a power pole Friday, knocking out power to an El Sobrante neighborhood, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The unidentified driver was uninjured in the crash at Appian Way and Rancho Road, which a PG&E spokesperson said left 600 people without power. Power had been restored to about half of them by 6 p.m.

The crash occurred when a Hyundai SUV heading south on Appian Way drifted to the left and slammed into the pole, CHP officer Tom Maguire said.

"He said he was distracted from looking at his cell phone," Maguire said. "He looked up and saw that traffic was stopped and drifted to the left."

The crash left the top half of the telephone pole hanging over a roadway, Maguire said. Police shut down about a quarter-mile stretch of Appian Way between Allview Avenue and Rancho Road, Maguire said.

A PG&E spokesperson said crews were working hard to restore power to the remaining 300 customers without it but did have an estimate of how long it would take.



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