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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Tree Hits Power Lines, National Grid Worker Hurt In Separate Incidents

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Central Vermont Public Services workers repair power lines and utility poles on May 17.
Pownal, Vt. - A town woman and two young children were surprised and frightened on May 17 when an electrical power line crashed down upon the car they sat in as they waited to pick up another child. The impact caused the vehicle windshield to break.

Tree Causes Power Disruption

Melissa Cummings and the children were startled but uninjured during the early afternoon Pine Ridge Drive incident, said Pownal Valley volunteer fire department Assistant Chief Joel Howard.

Curtis Barber was cutting trees on private property and had planned for a specific tree to fall to the left of the power lines, Howard said. But the tree dropped onto the power lines and ripped the lines from utility poles. Numerous residents of Pine Ridge Drive and Overlook Road immediately lost electrical, telephone, and cable television services, Howard said. He said that he believes a woman who was driving along Barber's Pond Road when the lines were struck used a cellular telephone to report the incident.

Cummings and the children remained in the vehicle after the power line struck it. A Central Vermont Public Services crew was working in the White Oaks Road area and immediately responded to the Pine Ridge Drive scene. Workers were able to determine that the power line was no longer live and Cummings was able to safely move the vehicle before she and the children exited the car.

The vehicle sustained roof and driver's side door damage when the power line struck, Howard said.


A Verizon worker prepares to launch repairs after a tree tore down utility lines and damaged utility poles.
In addition to town firefighters, Vermont State Police responded to the scene. CVPS workers were joined by Verizon and Adelphia workers during utility pole and line repairs.

Wrench Strikes Worker

Town emergency responders were called again at 3 p.m. after a National Grid worker was injured as he worked on high-voltage utility poles. The poles were damaged during a brush fire that burned about six acres near Carpenter Hill Road last month. Howard said that the worker was working about 40 to 50 feet below another employee when a wrench spiraled downward and struck the worker in the head. The worker was rendered unconscious. National Grid workers brought the injured employee from the remote work area to the Pownal Valley Fire Department fire house off of Route 7 and Bennington Rescue Squad emergency medical technicians transported the worker to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

Utility repair crews lined Pine Ridge Drive.


The identity of the injured worker could not be confirmed at press time.
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