Distracted Mass. drivers crash into the same pole, despite warnings

Screen capture / Berlin Police Department
Screen capture / Berlin Police Department

One day after the Berlin, Mass., Police Department shared a video of a distracted driver crashing into a utility pole, another driver got into an eerily similar accident in the exact same location.

“Same pole, different accident from distracted driving,” police wrote on the department’s Facebook page.

The harrowing video, which was posted at 8:20 p.m. Monday, was supposed to be a cautionary warning to motorists to remind them about the dangers of texting and driving. The dashcam footage showed a sedan veering off the roadway and slamming into the pole, which broke into pieces. The car flipped over upon impact and landed on its roof.


“ATTENTION ALL DRIVERS,” police wrote in the Facebook post. “This is video footage of a motor vehicle crash we responded to on July 23rd of this year. We are glad that the operators received only minor injuries. The operator of the sedan was issued a citation for texting while driving.”

Police tagged the video with the hashtag “#drivenowtextlater.”

“Please use this as a self reminder, or to show your family & friends,” police wrote. “The text, email, Facebook, Snapchat Message can wait — it is not worth your life or the life of another person.”

Another crash would occur in that same spot the day after the post went live.

At 10:52 p.m. Tuesday, Berlin police posted a photo of an overturned car that struck the pole and landed on its roof. One occupant was extricated from the vehicle and taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

The pole, which is located on Central Street (Route 62) between Sawyer Hill Road and Brewer Road, was slated to be repaired or replaced by National Grid overnight, police said.

Berlin Police Chief Thomas Galvin said the location where the crashes occurred isn’t known for being particularly dangerous because “it’s a relatively straight stretch of roadway,” but if a driver is distracted by a cellphone, any street can become deadly.


“It’s definitely a problem,” he said.

Thankfully, the drivers in both crashes only received minor injuries, he said.

“They were very lucky,” he said.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.