Thursday, October 11, 2007

Downed power line closes Leonardville Road after accident

The Leonardo section of Middletown suffered a loss of power this evening, Oct. 11, due to a traffic accident.

A purple Pontiac was traveling west on Leonardville Road when the 17-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle just past Appleton Avenue, police said.

“The car was zigzagging and going fast as it was coming at me. I thought he was going to hit me so I pulled over,” Atlantic Highlands resident Martha Herz said.

Herz was traveling east on Leonardville Road, when she saw the driver hit the power pole, she said. Middletown patrolman James Roese said the driver lost control because of the wet road.

The driver, whose name was not released, suffered injuries to his chest and head due to the airbag inflation, Roese said. The driver was treated by the Middletown First Aid Squad and refused further medical treatment, police said.

The vehicle stuck the base of the power pole and broke it at the base, Roese said. Consequently, the wires fell to the ground and police secured the area, Roese added.

The wires in the transformer atop the pole produced several explosions that neighbors watched from their homes. Herz watched as the wires sparked and exploded over the road, she added.

“It blew about 20 feet. It was blue and it sparkled like a Christmas tree,” Leonardville Road resident Dotti Bork said. Bork watched the light show from across the street with her husband, William, on their porch.

According to Middletown First Aid Captain Robert Pfleger, power will be down in the immediate surrounding areas for a couple of hours. Jersey Central Power and Light (JCPL) will first cease the power to ensure safety, due to the live wires, he said.

“JCPL will cut the power to be safe, then they will secure the telephone pole so it does not fall in the road,” Pfleger said.

Middletown Police, Fire Department, Fire Police and First Aid Squad responded to the event after it was called into the dispatcher at 3:52 p.m., Roese said.

--Alyssa Passeggio
Both photos by Chris Blaszczyk.

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