Crime & Courts

Troopers: Drunken driver caused Soldotna power outage

A Soldotna man crashed his SUV into a power pole Tuesday morning, knocking out power to hundreds of homes, then falsely claimed the vehicle had been stolen, troopers said.

Troopers said in a dispatch that they received a call from 36-year-old Jerry Dourney at about 5 a.m. Tuesday, reporting his Lexus RX300 was taken from the parking lot of the Soldotna Carrs Safeway store.

"Minutes later AST dispatch received another report that a tan Lexus was found on fire near Mile 16 (of) Funny River Road, which is near where the stolen Lexus is registered," troopers wrote. "Investigation on scene determined the tan Lexus had struck a power pole near approximately Mile 12 (of) Funny River Road, knocking it over, and causing power loss to over 400 residences in the Soldotna area."

After speaking with Dourney at his home, troopers charged him with DUI, making a false report, failing to give immediate notice of an accident, third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons. He was remanded to the Wildwood Pretrial Facility without bail.

Troopers said "the remainder of Dourney's vehicle" was towed from the scene as Homer Electric Association crews cleared the downed power pole. According to the association's Facebook page, nearly 700 customers were eventually affected by the outage, with power restored by 8:15 a.m.