Trailer Hits Utility Pole, Causes Explosion, Power Outage

Story and photos by Kristen Spoon Power was lost for almost two hours to businesses and residents...

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Story and photos by Kristen Spoon

Power was lost for almost two hours to businesses and residents near the intersection of Newport Road and Murrieta Road Tuesday afternoon following a collision between a trailer and a power pole and resulting explosion.

According to Menifee Police, John Gibelyou, 69, of Wildomar was driving a van eastbound on Newport Road about 2:08 p.m. today. He was towing an auto transport flatbed trailer. The trailer hitch became disengaged as the vehicle combination crossed through a small dip at the intersection. The safety chains on the trailer also failed and the trailer veered off on its own.

The trailer ultimately struck a guide wire leading to a power pole on the street in front of a Verizon Store on Newport Road, near a Texaco Station. It appeared some electrical device on the pole was the cause of the explosion. According to an officer on the scene, three transformers blew, leading to a power outage in the area.

It is unknown how many customers were affected by the outage. There were no injuries in the collision and neither alcohol nor drugs are suspected in this case. Utility companies were notified to respond to the location and power was restored by about 3:45 p.m.

The investigation is continuing and anyone that may have witnessed the collision or may have further information is asked to call the Menifee Police Department Traffic Division at 951-210-1000.


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  1. Maybe if these drivers in town would slow a bit, hitting that 'small dip' at the corner of Newport and Murrieta is not a small dip at all, and I have seen many driver hit it so hard they launch their cars/trucks into the air, but never even slow down. But of course the Menifee PD is so busy on the east side of the freeway protecting all the developers investments they could care less about the original town of Menifee on the west side of the freeway.

  2. If only your comment were true. Many of us on the west side would not have traffic citations.

  3. Looking at the photo of the tongue of the trailer, I do not see any safety chains, as required by law.



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