Teen crashes car into utility pole while drunk

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – A 19-year-old man sustained minor injuries Nov. 20 when he crashed a 1995 Honda Civic into a utility pole. The man was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the collision.

Officers were dispatched at about 3:23 a.m. to the 2000 block of S. 1st Avenue regarding the crash. Upon arrival, they located Matthew Garcia, 19, in the driver’s seat. Garcia had suffered an injury to his right hand and a laceration to the right side of his head. He said his seat belt was not functioning and he had hit his head on the windshield in the crash.

Garcia allegedly admitted to being drunk, which led to him driving poorly and hitting the pole. 

According to a witness who was pumping gas at the nearby Circle K, the Civic was southbound at a high-rate of speed when it hit a curb and struck a utility pole near the intersection of 1st Avenue and 20th Street.

An officer’s investigation determined that Garcia “applied the brakes in an aggressive manner” while approaching the intersection, which caused him to go into a skid, jump the sidewalk and hit the utility pole. The officer also deemed that alcohol was a contributor to the crash.

Garcia was transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released. His vehicle was removed from the scene by Nutcracker Towing, and, since traffic was very light due to the time of the day, there were no traffic delays.

Safford Utilities and Cable One responded to inspect the pole. Safford Utilities said it did not have any power lines on the pole, and Cable One deemed none of its equipment had been damaged. Century Link did not respond to the scene prior to it being cleared.

Charges against Garcia are pending.