A single car crash knocked out power to hundreds of residents in Longmeadow, MA.
Longmeadow police and fire departments responded to the accident that occurred just before 6:30 p.m. near the Longmeadow Country Club. Slick road conditions caused the 16-year-old woman driver, whose name authorities did not release, to lose control of the vehicle she was operating and strike a telephone pole at 400 Shaker Road, resulting in the outage. The woman was able to free herself from the vehicle before it burst into flames.
Fire Captain Andrew Fraser said it was a miracle that she escaped her vehicle safely. “No one can figure out how she got out without getting electrocuted. It was a 1 in a million chance,” says Captain Fraser.
A witness to the accident, Sarah McCarthy, helped save the driver’s life. McCarthy was passing by after staying late at work when she and her daughter saw the minivan slide on ice, cross Shaker Road, and collide with the telephone pole. The 16-year-old girl got out of the vehicle and looked stunned, standing within feet of 13,000 volt power lines. McCarthy recognized the girl as one of her daughter’s friends. “I called over to her come here now in the best motherly tone I could. She got into the back of my car. I threw it in reverse and just as that happened, there was an explosion,” McCarthy said.
Longmeadow Police Captain John Stankiewicz said the girl was lucky. In my career, I have not seen something of this magnitude where somebody survived. She is a very fortunate young lady,” he said. Most of the time, he added, it’s safer to stay in your car if wires fall on it because the car is grounded. “It’s the lesser of two evils. You have to pick your poison. In this situation, she chose the right course of action,” he said.
The crashed caused about 650 Western Mass. Electric customers to lose electricity. WMEC said they sent a crew to make repairs, and had power turned on for just about every affected customer by 8:30 p.m. They hope to restore power to any remaining customers as quickly as possible.
The accident resulted in approximately $100,000 in damages to three poles, phone and power lines, and equipment, said Fire Captain Fraser.
Massachusetts Car Accident Attorneys
The Massachusetts car accident attorneys of Altman & Altman, LLP have been representing people involved in all types of car crashes for over 40 years. If you or a loved one has been in a motor vehicle accident, please contact us at 617-492-3000 or by email for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation.
Car Explosion in Longmeadow Causes Hundreds to Lose Power, www.wggb.com, March 7, 2013.
Passerby Helps Save Teen from Explosive Longmeadow Crash, www.wggb.com, March 8, 2013.