TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Three drunk drivers were arrested overnight after multiple vehicles crashed into fallen cables on the Beltway.
Police say a vehicle struck a wooden support pole on York Road around 11:30 p.m. Friday, causing ten or more large-gauge Verizon cables to fall into the roadway on I-695.
A Verizon spokesperson tells WJZ, the collapse interrupted phone, internet and TV services in the area.
A total of 11 vehicles crashed into the cables and other vehicles. No injuries were reported.
“The cables actually did strike some of the vehicles and then some of the vehicles actually ran over the cables themselves, causing minor injuries to some of the operators,” said Captain Holly Barrett, Maryland State Police.
Both the inner and outer loops of I-695 were reopened at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
While police were assisting, a Volkswagen drove through the blocked off roadway and struck two marked state police vehicles. The driver was arrested for DUI.
Before the night was over, two additional drivers drove into the scene. Both were arrested and charged with DUIs.
Drunk-driving enforcement troopers known as the SPIDRE team, had also responded to the pole collapse, but went unnoticed by the impaired drivers.
“One of them actually struck one of the SPIDRE team vehicles and one of the Golden Ring cars,” said Captain Barrett.
The driver and troopers in that collision were not hurt.
Verizon customers in the immediate area are experiencing outages with service to their landline phones, broadband Internet and Fios TV. Some cell service was immediately impacted, but has been restored.
The reason why the cables came down is still under investigation.
All roads have since been re-opened. Verizon plans to replace the towers in the coming days.
State Troopers arrested 18 impaired drivers in Maryland overnight.