Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A large number of homes and businesses lost power Thursday morning after a power pole was cut in half in SE Rochester.

Rochester police say an SUV driven by 47-year-old Eric Karnitz was driving on 3rd Ave SE near Graham Park when he lost control of the vehicle. It left the roadway and crashed into the pole, breaking it and knocking out power.

A police spokesman says Karnitz suffered a severe ankle injury in the wreck and its believed his vehicle was totaled. The spokesman says Karntiz told an officer “he was distracted for a moment” but didn’t say why.

The accident led to the closure of 3rd Ave. in that area until service was restored.

RPU notes the incident happened on Lineman Appreciation Day.

News update: A Rochester police officer is bitten by a pit bull.