A motorist sheared off a fire hydrant in a traffic accident Thursday evening in Temecula wine country.
The incident, first reported at 10:13 p.m. at the intersection of Rancho California and Anza roads, resulted in a geyser of gushing water shooting up into the air and just barely making contact with electrical power lines overhead.
The intersection is a “roundabout” style intersection and the sheared hydrant was along the northeast portion of the roundabout.
One fire engine with the Riverside County Fire Department responded and discovered the resulting geyser, but there was no vehicle in the area.
The geyser did not appear to be affecting the power lines, and power appeared to be on in the area.
Within about 30 minutes, a worker with the Rancho California Water District arrived at the scene and was able to shut the water down within a few moments.
The water was shut down at 10:49 p.m.
Traffic at the intersection was light during the incident, but the roadway experienced some substantial flooding until the water was shut down.
Vehicles traveling westbound on Rancho California were directed past the incident by firefighters at the scene, and they were carefully navigated under the geyser until it could be shut down.
Because of the design of the roundabout, there was no option for vehicles except to drive almost directly under the geyser.
At one point, a man on a motorcycle was even forced to ride under it and became soaked before riding off.
One Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy was at the scene assisting with traffic control and two California Highway Patrol officers responded to investigate the accident.
There was no description of the vehicle available according to the CHP website, and there were no witnesses to the accident.
Joe Fanaselle is a local photojournalist and regular contributor to SWRNN.