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Published: July 29, 2008 11:30 pm ShareThisPrintThis
Driver hits pole in Market Square; passenger arrested
By Stephen Tait
Staff Writer

NEWBURYPORT - The driver of a Dodge Intrepid smashed into a pole yesterday afternoon in Market Square, bringing the busy intersection - and the Yankee Homecoming-related activities there - to a standstill. The vehicle's passenger was also arrested.
City Marshal Thomas Howard said witnesses reported a New Hampshire man driving on the sidewalk and ramming into the pole, which supports a traffic light. At the scene, the marshal said it was unclear what caused the accident.
"He drove right into the pole," Howard said of witness reports. "Why that happened, we are still working on it."
Though there were hundreds of people in the square during the day participating in sidewalk sales and other activities. No one was hit by the vehicle.
"The sidewalks are congested," Howard said. "Fortunately, people saw him coming and got out of the way."
The passenger in the vehicle, Thomas Carter, 55, of 17 Daffodil Hill Lane, Rochester, N.H., was put in protective custody for drunkenness and later arrested for possession of marijuana, Howard said.
Police found an empty Budweiser beer can under the passenger-side seat, Howard said. The driver, whom police did not identify, was given a roadside sobriety test, but was not arrested.
Dozens of people - if not hundreds - stood along the sidewalks peering at the action, which included firetrucks, an ambulance, tow trucks and several police officers.
"You see, nothing happened to the pole," said one man walking by with his son. "You know why? Poles don't move."
A local shop owner also quipped to a nearby friend: "See, I'll do anything for sales."
For about a half hour or more, police directed traffic at the intersection, which was more snarled than usual. Even without an accident, the area is always difficult to navigate during Yankee Homecoming.

Newburyport police and fire responded to an accident yesterday afternoon in Market Square where the car pictured, in the middle of photo, hit a light pole.
Bryan Eaton / Staff photo
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