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Vehicle impact on Highway 89A severs power to over 300 homes in southern sections of Kanab

Crews document what is left of the power pole, with the still overturned vehicle just ahead. Photo courtesy of Dan Mclendon.

At about 6:45 a.m., on Satur­day May 13, a 2004 Chevrolet Classic crashed into a power pole while driving northbound on Highway 89A between Kanab and Fredonia. The im­pact occurred near milepost 2, just off the turn to Little’s Die­sel. The vehicle drifted across the divider in the center lane and clipped the power pole, be­fore rolling over and ending on its canopy. The driver and pas­senger both were transported by ambulance to the hospital; the driver with serious but not critical injuries, and the passenger with minor injuries.

Highway patrol responded, as did more local authorities to manage the impact site and the risks associated with a downed line. “We’re glad this didn’t end up worse - crashing into a pow­er pole like this can cause a lot of damage, and there is a wide range of dangers involved,” said the Highway Patrol Public Information Officer.

The pole was knocked en­tirely off its base, collapsing on the side of the road, and with it some of the local utilities were damaged; according to representatives from Garkane Power, about 300 clients lost power between the time of incident and around 12 p.m. on Saturday. According to Gar­kane, “Crews always secure the scene first and make sure no lines are energized before starting repairs, especially in high traffic areas.”

Some of South Central Com­munications’ fiber optic lines were damaged in the impact as well; per South Central, “We had a crew on site for a few hours that needed to remount our cable once Garkane was done with their part of the repair. However, no customers were affected and there was no downtime as a result of the accident or the repair.”

Highway Patrol stated that fatigue was possibly a contrib­uting factor, and that this case can be an example of the risks of drowsy driving.

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