Accident involving a crane tore down power lines along a heavily traveled road in Wilmington Friday morning. Video of the incident shows a truck turning left onto Military Cutoff Road with the boom of a crane still up. The boom snagged the powerline and tore it to the ground. Meanwhile, the vehicle continued to drive with the boom up and eventually hit a traffic light, causing debris to smash into the windshield of a car driving nearby.”We see traffic poles get taken down quite often, but this one is quite different. It’s a crane truck,” firefighter Natosha Vincet said.
“It’s affected one of our busiest intersections in the city the weekend before Fourth of July. We are anxious to get it back up and running, and I know everybody else is ready for it to be done as well.” According to police, the driver was cited for failure to secure a load. Just shy of a dozen crews were called to repair the power lines that were pulled down. The Wilmington Police Department blocked entrances to Military Cutoff at Market Street, Swan Mill Road and Parker Farm Drive until three utility poles can be replaced. The Department of Transportation installed a temporary stoplight in that area. “The mast arm that was hit broke off and hit the heads on another mast arm taking those down,” said Brian Rick with DOT. “Since we are unaware of the damage caused to the arm that the heads were knocked off, we are planning to set three temporary wood poles to hang the heads for those two approaches to get the signal up and running as soon as possible.”
The DOT expects to have the work completed by midnight, but the WPD hopes to have Military Cutoff Road open before then, if possible. A total of 117 customers, including businesses and residents, lost power at 9:19 a.m. after the accident, and all but 24 had power back on by 10 a.m., according to a Duke Energy spokesperson. The remaining got power back at 12:30 p.m. No injuries have been reported. Several businesses near the impacted intersection report ongoing internet outages. “The power outage is what we noticed first… everything was down. The only thing up and running was our emergency lights,” said Dave Peterson, who works in sales at Fleet Feet Sports. Fleet Feet Sports uses Spectrum for internet service, said Peterson.
The internet was still down there as of 2 p.m. “The internet was down right away when we opened up this morning. And it’s just an inconvenience for the customers, but we have a backup plan, we always do,” said Peterson. Peterson said the store has seen less foot traffic today with the road closure. “Definitely less (foot traffic), but when one of our major thoroughfares here is closed down, we really don’t have a say,” said Peterson. “It’s definitely affected us, but we’re doing our best.” Score: Wect News