UPDATE: Student charged after crashing into transformer, causing power outage at LU

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Kayla Drake

Freshman Jasmine Ward uses her flashlight to walk to her room in Pfremmer Hall.

Updated March 1, 2020 at 4:20 p.m. with information about Lou Brock Sports Complex, at 5:00 p.m. with modified dining hours, at 6:33 p.m. with video of crashed car, at 8:01 p.m. with information from Residential Life, and at 10 p.m. with notice about power coming back on.  

Updated March 2, 2020 at 1:43 p.m. with information about equipment damage from KCLC and comments from Information Technology. 

Updated March 6, 2020 at 4:24 p.m. with confirmation of charges.  

A power outage left part of Lindenwood’s campus without electricity on Sunday.  

A Lindenwood student, Jaden Kohls, was arrested and charged with careless driving and driving under the influence in connection with the car crash that caused the outage, according to Lt. Thomas Wilkison, St. Charles Police public information officer.

A Snapchat video taken by a student Saturday night shows a car that crashed into a transformer near the J. Scheidegger Center.

“I just saw this dude take that turn onto Lindenwood going 75 […] and take out the whole campus lighting,” the student, Bradley Getz, says in the video.

Entrances to the Scheidegger parking area were blocked off on Sunday.

A Rave Alert sent out to students before 8 a.m. Sunday said damage to a transformer caused the power outage. 

“The university is working with the city and Ameren to restore power as soon as possible,” the alert said.  

At 9:45 p.m., a Rave Alert informed students that “repairs have been completed and buildings on the Lindenwood campus will be gradually brought back on line over the next 30 to 45 minutes.”

T.J. Rains, vice president for Information Technology, said the IT department “worked alongside the facilities and operations team to evaluate the impact of the power outage on campus wired and wireless networks, classrooms, labs, and general AV systems.” Once the electricity was back, IT monitored each building to identify any possible failures that required remediation, Rains said. By Monday at 6 a.m., all identified failures had been resolved.

“Because of the scale of the outage, I expect remnant issues to present themselves over the coming days,” Rains said.

If students have any IT problems, they can report it to the help desk or call 636-255-5100.

The power outage damaged radio equipment from KCLC, which the campus radio station is replacing with equipment from Lindenwood-Belleville, according to mass communications professor Rich Reighard.

Jesús López, associate director of Residential Life, said the lounges of Niccolls and Cobbs Halls were open for students affected by the outage Sunday night.

James Tananan Kamnuedkhun
The transformer near the J. Scheidegger Center, which a car crashed into, causing a power outage.

The Library and Academic Resources Center was open, but only the first floor had power from a backup generator. Starbucks was closed.

One of the buildings affected was the Evans Commons. Because of the power outage, the dining hall at Evans served sandwiches during brunch instead of its regular menu. 

Lindenwood sent out a second Rave Alert Sunday afternoon saying dining hours at Evans will be 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday night because of the outage.

Hunter Stadium and some dormitories on the new side of campus were affected as well. At the Lou Brock Sports Complex, there was no music or announcements on the speakers during the baseball team’s double-header against Truman State, according to Blake Bunton, athletics communications manager.