Truck pulls down power lines

Heavy equipment being moved on Dark Hollow Road near Crystal Heights Road became entangled in overhead utility lines Monday morning and pulled down roughly a quarter mile of power and phone lines, leaving about 140 customers without power for much of the day.

Marc Allan Zimmerman, 51, was driving the truck and flatbed trailer combination that was carrying equipment belonging to Bill's Backhoe Service, Jackson County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said. The excavating arm of the backhoe extended into the overhead wires, then as the truck continued east, the tension on the lines brought down five utility poles, she said.

Zimmerman was cited on a charge of hauling a load that exceeded maximum height restrictions, Carlson said.

Jackson County Fire District No. 5 said six poles were damaged, but no one was injured.

Pacific Power officials reported that the accident, which happened at about 7:50 a.m., knocked out electrical service to 468 customers. Power was restored to 248 of those customers within an hour. An additional 81 customers were back online by 9:50 a.m., said Pacific Power spokeswoman Jan Mitchell.

After working through the day to replace damaged poles, lines, insulators and other equipment, crews restored power to the final affected customers at 3:45 p.m.

When the poles were replaced, Qwest repaired and reinstalled the telephone line, which also was pulled down. Qwest spokesman Bob Gravely said 41 of 200 pairs of wires in the large cable were damaged.

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