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Hit-and-run crash cuts power in downtown Janesville

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
July 3, 2009
— An early Thursday morning hit-and-run crash left a handful of businesses downtown without power for several hours.

The driver lost control and hit an Alliant Energy switch gear box, estimated at about $15,000 value, at the corner of Wall Street and Parker Place.


The driver fled the scene and could face criminal charges if arrested, said Janesville Police Lt. Keith Lawver.


The crash was reported at 1:17 a.m., according to a spokeswoman at the Rock County Communications Center.


Shortly after 5:30 a.m., Alliant crews shut the power off to make repairs. The isolated outage affected The Janesville Gazette, the professional building on the corner of East Milwaukee Street and Parker Drive, plus St. Mary's Catholic Church and School, where a funeral was planned for 10 a.m.


Instead of using the elevator to get the casket, flowers and their stands inside the church, Schneider Apfel Schneider & Schneider Funeral Home directors used the front steps.


"It'll be fine," Neal Schneider said. "We've got everything we need for the funeral."


Power was restored by 11:45 a.m., according to Alliant Energy spokesman Steve Schultz.



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