Power cut to thousands due to deadly crash in Northwest Fresno

Police and PG&E were called to the area of Marks & Emerson in Northwest Fresno early Thursday morning after officers said a woman crashed into a power pole. Photo: FOX26 News Photographer Ryan Hudgins

UPDATE: According to PG&E, it hopes to restore power to the remaining 5,435 customers by 8 p.m. Thursday.


UPDATE: The Fresno County Coroner's Office has identified the victim killed in the early morning crash as 29-year-old Rita Gray of Fresno.

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PG&E tells us there are still 7,420 customers without power as of 11:00 a.m. and don't expect full restoration until about 8:00 p.m.

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A woman died early Thursday morning after crashing into a power tower at Emerson and Marks in Northwest Fresno, according to police.

Fresno Police said the impact of the crash brought down live power lines and sparked a small grass fire that was quickly put out just after 1:00 a.m.

Police said the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. They were investigating what caused the crash and had several roads in the area shut down.

PG&E crews were at the scene assessing the damage early Thursday. Workers said the tower would have to be rebuilt, and it would likely take until about 8:00 p.m. to fully restore power. Police said northbound and southbound Marks reopened at Emerson around 4:00 a.m. Emerson between Marks and Valentine would remain shut down for at least 24 hours to allow PG&E crews to rebuild the tower.

70,000 people were reportedly impacted by the outage, initially. By 5:15 a.m., 19,000 remained without power.

A PG&E representative in Sacramento said about 8,400 customers remained without power by 8:00 a.m.

As of 6:51 a.m., Fresno Unified confirmed the following schools remained without power: Cooper Academy, Homan Elementary, Fresno High, Wawona Elementary, Wilson Elementary, and Bullard Talent. Fresno Unified representatives said school schedules would continue as normal at the schools that remained without power, and that PG&E crews were working to restore power at those locations. Fresno Unified said food service was being brought in to schools without power. Central Unified confirmed that only Steinbeck Elementary was without power, but the school's schedule would also resume as normal, with anticipation of power restoration within a few hours.

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