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Law Street

Driver in Law Street collision with utility pole turns himself in to Batavia PD

By Howard B. Owens


The man believed to be behind the wheel of a minivan that struck a utility pole on Law Street in Batavia on Nov. 23, causing a widespread power surge on the Southside, surrendered to Batavia PD on Tuesday.

Jeremy Lyons, 38, of Mount Morris, was cited for leaving the scene of a property damage accident and aggravated unlicensed operation, said Assistant Chief Chris Camp.

There's no way of knowing at this point, Camp said, if Lyons was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Lyons was seen running from the scene of the accident, and an attempt to locate him in the area immediately after the accident, including a K-9 search, was unsuccessful.

The minivan struck a utility pole causing 287 homes in the area of Chestnut Street, South Jackson, and to both the north and south of those streets, to lose power.  The power surge caused electric meters on the outside of dozens of homes to blow out. Contractors in Batavia said they responded to several calls to repair the damage, including to furnaces and HVAC units.  National Grid replaced the electric meters on all 287 houses.

The vehicle Lyons was driving was insured, Camp said.

There is currently no estimate available on how much damage the accident caused to National Grid property and the 287 homes that lost power.

Residents with claims directly related to the power surge can file those claims with National Grid at or by calling (315) 428-6536.

Photo: File photo of Nov. 23 accident. By Howard Owens.

Driver in Law Street accident still at large with residents in area suffering damage from power surge

By Howard B. Owens


The driver behind the wheel of a minivan that struck a utility pole Wednesday afternoon on Law Street, causing a significant power surge in the area, has not been located yet.

Sgt. Mitch Cowen said Thursday morning that police are pretty confident they know who the driver was, that he's not from the area and that the vehicle was not stolen.

Cowen said police are looking for him in order to question him about the accident.

Witnesses saw the man running from the accident and provided a description to police.  A K-9 was deployed shortly after the accident in an attempt to find his trail, but that effort failed to find the driver.

At least 287 homes in the area of Chestnut Street, South Jackson, and to both the north and south of those streets, lost power.  The power surge caused electric meters on the outside of dozens of homes to blow out, with some of those houses displaying visible black char marks around the meters. 

National Grid crews worked through Thanksgiving morning restoring power.  The pole and main power line to the area were in working order by 10 or 11 p.m. on Wednesday night after crews worked to restore power to each house one at a time.  The meters on all 287 homes were replaced.  For residents who were not home last night, crews returned Thursday morning to locate them and complete the work (power at the breaker box needed to be turned off before the meter was replaced).

"When high voltage lines are negatively impacted, as they were last night, it can create an unsafe condition for residences," said David Bertola, a spokesman for National Grid. "The pulling, checking and replacing of electric meters is a standard safety procedure that our crews perform under circumstances such as these."

A worker last night recommended residents check all surge protectors. He said residents would know right away if the surge protector was blown.  If they were off before power was restored, when turned back on, if blown, they will spark and smoke. If already plugged in, they may no longer work.  Some may work but should have a light to indicate they no longer provide surge protection.

Each surge protector is rated differently. Some surge protectors can handle larger bursts of energy but can never exceed their rated capacity, and the capacity is cumulative. As notes, if a surge protector is rated for 1,000 joules of energy and it gets one joule at a time over a period of time, it will need to be replaced after 1,000 incidents.  If a highly rated surge protector takes a major power surge, it may still function but it may also be near the end of its life span.

Replacing all surge protectors after a major power event is often recommended by experts.

The Batavian spoke to an electrician today who recommended checking all appliances.  Anything receiving an active electrical current at the time of Wednesday's surge could be toast, or close to it.

At least one resident in the area is without heat after the power surge damaged the circuitry of the forced air heater.

A National Grid crew member advised residents who suffered an economic loss as a result of the power surge to file a claim with National Grid.

Bertola said customers with claims can email National Grid at or by calling (315) 428-6536.

A law enforcement source said that typically, National Grid attempts to recover damages from the driver's insurance company -- and it appears this driver was insured -- when an accident damages a utility pole.

The damages, in this case, could include the pole and all of the subsequent residential repair work and any damages sustained by residents.


Photos by Howard Owens.

Expect traffic delays next week on Walnut, Law, and Chestnut for resurfacing work

By Press Release

Press release:

All motorists please be aware that Walnut Street (Rt 98), Law Street, and Chestnut Street (from City Line to Traffic Circle to Jackson Street) will experience traffic delays from Monday, May 9th to Thursday, May 12th from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for resurfacing operations. Milling will take place on the 9th and 10th and paving will occur on the 11th and 12th.

While work is being performed in this area, the roadway will be reduced to a single lane for all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/property but should plan accordingly for delays.

All residents/businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the operation.

This is weather-dependent work; if work is postponed it shall progress to the next workday.

Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 Option 1 if there are any questions.

UPDATED: Law Street flooded

By Howard B. Owens


Photo submitted by Lynette Celedonia. Send flooding photos to

A Batavia Police officer has asked dispatchers to inform the school bus companies that Law Street is not currently passable due to flooding.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: The east-west portion of Ganson Avenue is closed due to flooding and so is a portion of South Jackson Street.

UPDATE 3:24 p.m.: The city's yard waste station on Law Street is closed due to flooding.


Photo by Steve Ognibene.

UPDATE: Photo of Jackson Avenue by Steve Ognibene and 9156 Clipnock Road, Stafford, by Crista Boldt.



Law Street and Chestnut Street closed for water line repair

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Law/Chestnut Street between South Jackson and Walnut streets in the City of Batavia will be closed to “local traffic only” during the day today due to a water line repair. It is not expected that water service will be interrupted or affected.

Photos: Law Street and Route 98 still closed

By Howard B. Owens

Law Street (above, from the western end), and Route 98 (below, from the northern end) remain closed, though the floodwaters have receded significantly since last night.

Photo: Traffic checkpoint on Law Street, Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

Officers Jamie Givens and Kevin DeFelice set up an impromptu check point on Law Street just east of the curve this morning. DeFelice said with all the accidents on that stretch of Law it seemed like a good place set up and hopefully remind people to slow down. The officers were checking for compliance with registration, inspection and seat belts.

Early spring fishing off of Law Street

By Howard B. Owens

Zach Walsh casts his lure into an inlet of the Tonawanda Creek by Law Street, near where he lives. The 16-year-old said the inlet is one of his regular springtime fishing holes. Last spring, he said, he caught a pretty good pike there. Zach was kind enough to fill me in on a few other good spots right in the neighborhood.

Ferrando calls for more tickets to be issued to overweight vehicles on Law Street

By Howard B. Owens

Trucks weighing more than five tons are supposed to drive down Law Street, but according to City Councilman Frank Ferrando, over the past eight years complaints from Law Street residents have continued, and he's skeptical that enough is being done to correct the situation.

It's time to get tough, he said at the end of last night's council meeting.

"If there are police there and there is an overweight vehicle, my feeling is, that overweight vehicle ought to be ticketed. Period," Ferrando said. "It ought to be ticketed and ticketed until word gets around that you better stay off the street or you’re going to get a ticket."

According to Chief of Police Randy Baker, however, that's the job his department has been doing.

"There have been numerous special details and zone cars assigned to the area," Baker said in an email this morning. "Several tickets have been issued."

Police announces results of check point on Law Street

By Howard B. Owens

The Batavia Police Department conducted a check point on Law Street from 10 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday and released details on the enforcement action today.

Two people were arrested for alleged DWI, one person for alleged operation of a vheicle while under the influence of drugs and another person for alleged unlawful possession of marijuana.

The following arrests were made:

Julian J. Matla Jr. 46, of 35 Church St., Le Roy, charged with DWI.

Christopher Herman, 30, of 39 Citation Drive, Henrietta, charged with DWI and endangering the welfare of a child.

Shaun P. Murray, 52, of 117 Friar Drive, Rochester, charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Ellen A. Murray, 52, of 117 Friar Drive, Rochester, charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

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