Hokes Bluff police continue to investigate a crash that damaged a power substation and knocked out power in Hokes Bluff/Ball Play, Chief Tyler Roe said. However, the initial indications are that the driver either got distracted or fell asleep.
The crash happened at about 7:13 a.m. Friday, in the 8000 block of U.S. Highway 278 East when an 18-wheeler overturned and knocked down a power pole in the curve between Beasley Road and Reaves Road, also known as “Culpepper Curve.”
When Capt. Richard Garmon arrived he found the driver — who had been helped from the cab of the truck by a Jacksonville investigator who drove up on the crash. Hokes Bluff Fire Department personnel treated the driver and he was taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. He was treated and released.
In the meantime, the location of the crash, the damage to the power sub-station and live lines on the truck forced responders to immediately close down both eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. 278.
A Hokes Bluff Public Works crew responded to the scene to assist with traffic control, with help provided by the Hokes Bluff Fire Department and the Alabama Department of Transportation.
The Etowah County EMA responded to the scene because of a fuel leak from the overturned truck. Alabama Power Company responded to the scene to address the damage to the power poles and substation — which resulted in an extensive power outage in the Hokes Bluff/Ball Play area.
Power was restored to the substation at about 8 p.m. Hare Wrecker Service and ER Towing, both responded to the scene to recover the overturned truck, which was loaded with about 30,000 pounds of frozen chicken that had to be off-loaded at the scene.
Because of all the work that had to be done to upright the truck, and repair the power lines/substation, the roadway remained closed for about 14 hours, Roe said in a press release.
While the preliminary indication is that the driver may have been distracted or fallen asleep, the investigation is still underway. No charges are pending or expected at this time, however.
Hokes Bluff police thanked the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, Glencoe Police Department, Etowah County EMA, Hare Wrecker Service, ER Towing, Alabama Power Company, Penske Logistics, Alabama DOT, Hepco Environmental Services, Safeway Industrial, Hokes Bluff Fire Department, and Hokes Bluff Public Works for their assistance.