Thousands lose power in Merriam, Shawnee after vehicle crashes into utility pole

A car that crashed into a utility pole on the Shawnee-KCK border overnight left thousands of people without power in parts of Merriam and Shawnee. Photo credit Mike Frizzell.

Parts of Shawnee and Merriam were without electricity from about 10:10 p.m. to after 11 p.m. Wednesday after a vehicle crashed through a utility pole near the intersection of 47th Street and Monrovia Street. West 47th Street is also known as County Line Road.

An outage map from Evergy showed the range of the outage. Bounded on the north by 47th Street, I-35 to the east all the way to where I-635, south to about 60th Street and west ranging from Nieman and Quivira Road. Parts of downtown Merriam and downtown Shawnee went dark, as well as traffic signals near the Antioch Road overpass of I-35.

Shawnee police, firefighters, and Johnson County Med-Act paramedics were called to the intersection of 47th Street and Monrovia Street at 10:15 p.m. 

Recorded radio traffic from the fire department indicated the vehicle had crashed through a utility pole and then down an embankment. The driver of the car was no longer with the vehicle when emergency crews arrived.

Power lines were twisted through tree branches on the Shawnee side of 47th Street as Evergy crews worked to restore power to the more than 4,300 customers who lost service.

Shawnee police said that they were still working to determine if the crash occurred on the Shawnee or Kansas City, Kan., side of County Line Road. It was later determined that the crash would be in Kansas City, Kan. jurisdiction.

Sergeant Chuck Seawood of the Shawnee Police Department said the car was westbound on County Line Road and crashed when the road curved, going through a pole and then down an embankment.

Shawnee officers searched the surrounding neighborhoods for the driver but were not able to locate anyone in the immediate area.

 At last check, police were still trying to determine to whom the vehicle belongs and who the driver was at the time of the crash.

Approximately 95 Evergy customers remained without power until after 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Leah Wankum contributed to this report.