AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

January 3, 2014

Crash downs transformer; woman, child suffer minor injuries

By Felicia A. Petro/Senior Reporter
Allied News

PINE — Vehicle accidents have been a common occurrence with recent heavy snowfall – including a crash on Tuesday that brought down a transformer in Pine Township.

An elderly woman was driving on an icy patch of Barkeyville Road with her young grandson around noon when she lost control of her vehicle and hit a utility pole – at the intersection of Centertown Road – which broke in half and brought the transformer to the ground, said Pine fire Chief Chris Holmes.

Holmes did not know the name of the woman and her grandson – and a state police official in Jackson Township stated that the officer in charge of the accident had not written a press release with the accident information before taking vacation time.

The boy – who Holmes thought to be about 10 years old or less – “jumped out of the vehicle before we got there. He was standing alongside the road,” he said.

His grandmother sat with the driver’s- side door open, but would not get out of the vehicle because utility wires that came down with the pole were next to the door. The passenger’s side was clear of wires.

A Pine firefighter who had been plowing snow in the area came upon the accident before the fire department arrived and gave the grandmother and grandson instructions to keep from the wires, the chief added.

“We treat them like they are alive until the power company says they are dead,” Holmes said. “Sometimes the (downed) transformer re-energizes the power lines.”

The power lines were live until a crew from Penn Power arrived about a half-hour after the accident to shut them down, he noted.

Since the boy came out of the car right away, he was transported via ambulance to Grove City Medical Center in Pine almost immediately. “He had a little bit of belly pain from the seat belt,” Holmes said.

After Penn Power shut off the electricity “and cut the lines loose,” the woman was also transported to the hospital for lower back and neck pain, he added.

“Their injuries were both very minor.”

Holmes believed the power company was working to repair the transformer, pole and wires until “late into the night,” he said, but was not certain. Some residents along Centertown were without power, he added.

The accident was one of many in a week’s time.

“The previous week, we ran 12 accidents,” Holmes said.

Another potentially serious accident in Pine involved a man losing control of his vehicle, hitting a tree and damaging a gas meter on George Junior Road at North Broad Street Extension, he said. He was not harmed.

“We’ve been very busy,” Holmes said. “People do not know how to drive in the snow, or they forget. All they need to do is drive slow.”

Published Dec. 21, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.