State College

Police: Bellefonte woman crashes into State College utility pole, may face DUI charges

CDT photo

A Bellefonte woman faces possible DUI charges after she crashed into a utility pole in State College early Friday morning, closing a part of East Beaver Avenue.

State College police said Brooke Rockey, 22, was driving on East Beaver at about 2:45 a.m. when she failed to make a left turn at High Street and struck the wooden pole, severing it at the base.

Police arrived to find her Ford Focus on the passenger side on the sidewalk, traffic backed up and the pole still standing but resting on the ground, leaning at a 45-degree angle while supported by the lines overhead. Nearby, lines were arcing and sparking against a tree.

Rockey, who had a cut lip and reported pain in her left leg, did not lose consciousness after the crash and spoke to the first responding officers, police said. An officer removed the car’s moonroof and pulled Rockey free through the opening.

East Beaver was closed from Garner Street to High Street until about 11:30 a.m., disrupting morning traffic. High Street from East Beaver to East Foster Avenue also was closed to traffic.

A West Penn Power crew was called to replace the damaged pole. They said the streets would stay closed until some time in the afternoon.

Police said Rockey, after identifying herself at the scene, was taken by Centre LifeLink EMS to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment and evaluation. From talking with Rockey and from a contact at the hospital, police determined that she had been under the influence of alcohol.

A witness told police that he was driving at first in front of Rockey in the left lane of East Beaver before she passed him in the left lane at high speed. He estimated that Rockey was going 55 to 60 mph.

The posted speed limit for the area is 25 mph.

According to the witness, Rockey’s car struck a concrete barrier, went airborne, hit the utility pole, rolled onto its side and skidded to a stop.

Another man, sitting on the porch of a residence at the corner, confirmed the account, police said. The accident happened right in front of him, police said

Police said the car left a trail of scuff marks and silver paint along the sidewalk. The left front of the vehicle cut the pole 2 feet above its base, police said.

Alpha Fire Company assisted at the scene.

DUI charges may be filed pending the results of a blood test, police said.