A man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol following a solo vehicle accident that sheared a fire hydrant, creating a geyser of water that stretched over 50 feet into the air.
The incident was first reported just before 10:30 p.m. at the intersection of Pourroy Rd. and Sorrento Dr. Saturday, Feb. 23 in the French Valley area, about a half mile north of Murrieta Hot Springs Rd.
According to Officer Jeff Oldham with the California Highway Patrol, the man was driving a Nissan sedan southbound on Pourroy Road when he lost control and struck the hydrant.
The driver told officers he swerved to avoid an animal in the roadway before losing control, Oldham said.
Callers reported that the man had been driving recklessly and speeding prior the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol website.
One caller stated the man sped by him at nearly 100 miles per hour, while another stated the man ran a stop sign and was passing vehicles at a high rate of speed.
One nearby resident who did not want to be identified stated he heard the vehicle skidding for several seconds before hearing it crash into the hydrant.
Two fire engines with the Riverside County Fire Department responded to the scene and firefighters were able to shut the water down within about 20 minutes.
A representative from the Eastern Municipal Water District also responded to the scene, as well as two California Highway Patrol officers.
Officers issued a field sobriety test to the driver and he was taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence, Oldham said.
He added that the driver was uninjured in the crash, and that there were no other occupants in the vehicle.
Oldham said the driver is a resident of the Murrieta area.
Traffic was not adversely affected following the crash, although several motorists did take a second look at the geyser of water as firefighters directed them slowly past the scene.
Over a dozen nearby residents also came out of their homes to watch the action, many of them snapping photos with their cell phones.
By 11:30 p.m., the roadway had been fully cleared.
Joe Fanaselle is a local photojournalist and regular contributor to SWRNN.