The Putnam County Sheriff's Department is investigating a crash in Cloverdale early Friday that knocked down a telephone pole and left half of the town without power for several hours.
Deputy Craig Sibbitt, who responded to the wreck, said a Red Plymouth minivan was driving east on Folton Street when it struck an electric pole head-on as the driver and two passengers were leaving Jim's Place bar, 3 E. Market St., shortly before 2:30 a.m.
The collision caused the pole to break off about six feet from the ground and fall.
The men in the van got out of the car and fled, leaving the vehicle amid a tangle of arching, downed power lines, Sibbitt said.
Crews with Duke Energy told the deputy the crash caused about $7,000 worth of damage.
At the scene, they estimated it would take five to seven hours to restore power to the town.
Before he was called to the wreck, the deputy said he pulled over and questioned the man he believes was driving the van when it crashed into the electric pole.
The Cloverdale resident told Sibbitt he was on his way home, he said.
Sibbitt said he expects to charge the man with leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving without insurance, driving while suspended, false informing and obstruction of justice.
Charges should come in the next few days, he added.