Approximately 1,000 homes were without power for several hours

Posted on: Friday, November 17, 2017

NORTH READING POLICE officers arrested Jonathan Robbins, 36, for possession of a Class A substance (heroin), negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation following the single car accident that snapped a utility pole in half at Haverhill and North streets Thursday afternoon and caused extensive damage to his Honda Odyssey minivan. (Al Pereira/Advanced Photo)

NORTH READING — Chief Michael P. Murphy reports that the North Reading Police Department arrested a man after he allegedly drove with heroin in his vehicle, cut across multiple lanes of traffic on a busy street and crashed into a utility pole, cutting power to 1,000 homes and forcing school buses to re-route.

Jonathan Robbins, 36, of North Reading, was arrested and charged with:

• Possession of a Class A substance (heroin)

APPROXIMATELY 1,000 homes were without power for several hours Thursday afternoon while crews repaired this utility pole, which was snapped when a driver, allegedly with heroin in his possession, crashed. (North Reading Police/Courtesy Photo)

• Negligent operation of a motor vehicle

• Marked lanes violation

At approximately 1:40 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16, North Reading police were dispatched to the intersection of Haverhill and North streets for a reported motor vehicle crash.

Upon arrival, officers observed that a utility pole had snapped in half and was suspended in the air by its wires, and a badly damaged Honda Odyssey minivan within close proximity. The driver, later identified as Robbins, was taken into custody after a police investigation.

The intersection, one of the busiest in town that serves as a primary route from Andover to Reading, was shut down during the investigation and removal of the vehicle. Power was cut off to nearly 1,000 homes in town for several hours while utility crews made repairs to the pole and wires. School buses and parents picking their children up from the Hood Elementary School had to be rerouted during the investigation, causing traffic congestion.

North Reading police recovered a quantity of a powdered substance, believed to be heroin, from the vehicle during the investigation.

“In this instance, we had a vehicle driving northbound on Haverhill Street, a well-traveled, busy roadway, when the driver inexplicably cut across several lanes of traffic, missed a turn near the intersection, and crashed into a utility pole, causing serious damage. Thankfully, no one was traveling southbound or walking on the roadway at the time, or we could have had a tragedy on our hands,” Chief Murphy said. “This is yet another example of a driver, allegedly with drugs in a vehicle, driving dangerously through a community. It’s a serious problem, and a byproduct of the drug epidemic facing our nation.”

Robbins was held pending his arraignment on Friday, Nov. 17 in Woburn District Court.

These are allegations against Robbins. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.