Monday, December 29, 2008

Trailer breaks loose from truck, slams into Pole.. Loose Trailer

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News Herald, The (Panama City, FL)
November 11, 2008

Section: State and regional

Index Terms:
Crash cuts power, cancels classes: Trailer breaks loose from truck, slams into power pole; no one injured
Author: Jon Miltimore; The News Herald, Panama City, Fla.

Article Text:Nov. 11--PANAMA CITY -- A trailer towing a bulldozer broke loose Monday, crossed traffic and slammed into a power pole, knocking lines onto passing vehicles and disrupting electricity to homes and businesses in the area, including Gulf Coast Community College, which canceled classes for the day.

The trouble began about 8 a.m. as a dump truck carrying a trailer was traveling east on U.S. 98, just off the Hathaway Bridge. Then, the improperly attached trailer came free, according to Panama City Police Department officials.

The trailer crossed one lane of traffic and struck a pole, exposing live electrical wires and destroying two poles, officers said. Florida Freedom Regional Editor Phil Lucas witnessed the crash up close. "I was just easing past him in the right lane because I don't like to ride next to large trucks," Lucas said. "I looked in my mirror and saw the trailer (unattached) making a lane change." Lucas said he could see poles and wires snapping and flailing when the trailer hit.

"There was one power line dangling 8 feet into the road, and I just shot under it," Lucas said. A witness recalled seeing blue sparks shooting off the top of Lucas' car as it passed under electrical wires. Four police units responded to the area to navigate traffic around the accident and close traffic in one lane. Firefighters also were on scene to keep pedestrians clear of the downed lines. Shortly after police arrived, a semi-truck attempted to drive through a restricted zone that police had shut down, and the semi became entangled, causing more electrical wires to be exposed, police said.

Police said traffic returned to normal about 5 p.m. Operations at Port Panama City were interrupted for a few hours until generators began to supply power to most port operations, according to port officials. Port Panama City Executive Director Wayne Stubbs said a few isolated sectors would be down for much of the day, but cargo operations were interrupted only briefly. Gulf Coast Community College canceled all Monday classes.

Officials said the campus would be closed today, as well, for Veterans Day, but classes were expected to resume Wednesday. Other area satellite campuses were unaffected. Gulf Power spokesman Jeff Rogers said 121 customers had their electricity interrupted, but power resumed in all locations by 5:03 p.m. Police said the driver of the dump truck was cited with failure to secure a load. The semi-driver was cited with careless driving. Their names were not released Monday.

No injuries were reported. Memo:
To see more of The News Herald or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to 2008, The News Herald, Panama City, Fla.Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.
Copyright, 2008, News Herald, The (Panama City, FL), All Rights Reserved.
Record Number: 20081111-PY-Crash-cuts-power-cancels-classes-1111

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