Crash cuts power to hundreds; neighbors worry about the future

By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio
Posted by Christi Reynard - email

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) - Hundreds of LG&E customers lost power during a cold winter's night Tuesday due to a crash, leaving neighbors to fear what the future holds in their Fern Creek neighborhood.

The crash happened not far from the intersection of Beulah Church and Johnson School Roads just before 9:30 pm Tuesday.

That's when a large truck crashed into two 50-foot poles and an LG&E utility pole, knocking out a transformer.

LG&E officials say for the safety of the public and the crews at the site, workers shut off power in the immediate area. That power outage affected some 850 customers at its peak.

LG&E crews were dispatched to the site right after the wreck, working through the night and into Wednesday morning.  Despite that, power wasn't expected to be restored until about 1:00 Wednesday afternoon due to the severity of the damage.

Several roads were blocked because traffic lights are out, and some school buses had to take alternate routes.

"It was like a big smash and I thought someone hit my mailbox and I went out and saw a truck down here upside down," said Jimmie Masden who lives right at the intersection.

That's what residents in the area heard late Tuesday night; by morning, they saw the mangled mess of wires and a huge Ford truck crumpled and bent, lying upside down in a ditch.  It was enough to slash power to hundreds, all on a cold winter's night.

"Our thermostat says 51 degrees," said resident Matt Sanders.  That was inside, hours after Sanders and his fiancé lost power.

"We just got done watching a scary movie, which was very ironic because as soon as the movie went off the power went off and we were like freaking out," Sanders said.

It was a little less scary for Dodie Veatch and her husband.

"I had just finished making some muffins," she said.

But it wasn't very sweet.

"We had some gas logs but that doesn't do a whole lot if you don't have the blower to help so it's getting quite cold," she said.

LG&E crews worked hours in the bitter cold to restore power, but neighbors in this area say there's a deeper problem.

"This road is nuts.  They come out of Johnson School Road  and I've seen them pull out in front of cars and I've seen them cause cars to run off the road and hit trees," said Joe Robey who lives in the area.

People living here say there's a crash here just about every month.

"Sometimes they're in my yard and sometimes they're hitting the pole," Masden said.

That could be enough to uproot he and his family.

"We're thinking about moving. We've been looking and seeing what we can do about finding another home. We've got a couple of young daughters and don't want to have them out in the front yard," Masden said.

And while the lights will come back on, neighbors are still left feeling cold.

"Kids walk these roads, there are no sidewalks, but they don't care, they just drive like they own the road and someone's going to get killed," Robey said.

Police preliminarily say that the driver didn't suffer from any serious injuries, and said that person wasn't arrested.  They're investigation into the cause continues, which could determine if any charges will be filed.  Police couldn't say if there was anyone else in the truck at the time of the crash.

More online:  LG&E Power Outages Map

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