More than 700 electricity customers lost power yesterday afternoon when a vehicle hit a power pole near the intersection of Pipiwai Rd and Matarau Rd at 1.25pm.
Five people were in the vehicle. After the crash, the critically injured driver was airlifted to Auckland, while the other four were taken to Whangārei Hospital to be treated for moderate injuries.
The crash brought down the pole and powerlines, causing the 11-kilovolt and 400-volt powerlines to clash, which left 704 customers without power.
All but 93 customers had power restored within 90 minutes. As at 5pm yesterday, Northpower crews were working to replace the pole and estimated the power would be restored to most customers by around 8..30pm.
It comes as police, Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA), Northpower and Top Energy are teaming up to raise public awareness on the dangers of power pole crashes.
Since 2016 there have been 381 reported crashes involving vehicles hitting power poles, street lamps and telecommunication poles in Northland.
Of those, more than 200 were crashes involving power poles - 109 were in the Kaipara and Whangārei districts on the Northpower electricity network and 96 on the Top Energy electricity network in the Far North.
Crash analysis data from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency shows 45 per cent of crashes are in the 15- to 29-year-old age bracket. Six crashes were fatal, 141 caused injury and the remaining 234 were non-injury crashes.
Since 2016, Northpower has experienced 109 vehicle-versus-pole crashes, interrupting electricity supply to 47,129 customers. During lockdown there were no incidents in May but there have been 13 instances of vehicles hitting poles since June.
The figures for Top Energy are similar, with 96 vehicle-versus-pole crashes impacting on electricity supply to 44,928 customers.
Yesterday's crash came just a day after a motorcyclist died in a crash on State Highway 15, Mangakahia Rd, between Huka Rd and Tokawhero Rd on Saturday.