CASPER — Authorities are blaming a suspected Colorado felon for a crash that left thousands Casper, Wyo., customers without power this past weekend.
Mills Police Chief Jerry Endresen said Vernon Wentz was wanted in Colorado for suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, burglary and property damage when he tried to flee Saturday night and crashed his truck. He is being held at Natrona County Detention Center, where charges connected with the accident are pending.
Lt. Phil Crouch said Wentz is wanted in several Colorado counties, including Jefferson County west of Denver. Colorado authorities said Tuesday details on the warrants were not available.
The car crashed around midnight, knocking out power, Internet, phone and cable service to customers of Rocky Mountain Power and Optimum. About 4,000 customers lost power, and 9,000 lost their Internet and phone connections when a fiber-optic line was cut.
“There was a lot of property damage,” Crouch said.
Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman Margaret Oler tells the Casper Star-Tribune the wreck damaged two power poles and it took time to replace them.
Wentz was arrested after a short attempt to flee on foot, and was taken to Wyoming Medical Center for cuts and bruises. He was released on Tuesday and taken to jail.