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Pulling down power
When a log truck driver exceeded his maximum height for a load of logs, the result was a loss of power and several hours of cleanup
A 1995 Kenworth truck was traveling west on Wainwright Road carrying a load of logs that exceeded the maximum height limit of 14 feet.
March 11, 2013
A log truck traveling west on Wainwright Road Thursday took out two power poles resulting in a six-hour outage as a result of his load exceeding the maximum height limit.
At 11:10 a.m., the Crook County Sheriff’s Office and Crook County Fire and Rescue were dispatched to a scene on Wainwright Road, approximately three miles northeast of Prineville. Sergeant Jim Chapman from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office said that when they arrived, they found that two power poles belonging to Pacific Power and Light had been pulled down and were lying on the ground, along with broken power lines.
“Two poles came completely out of the ground,” said Chapman. “Everything that was connected to those poles, I would say it was a good 500 feet of line.”
John Weatherman, 57, of Prineville, was driving a 1995 Kenworth truck, and was carrying a load of logs that exceeded the maximum height limit of 14 feet. The investigation revealed that Weatherman was hauling logs for Kriege Logging. His load subsequently snagged a power line on Wainwright Road as he was traveling west, and pulled over the poles. Weatherman stated he was travelling at about 35 miles per hour at the time of the incident.
As a result of the truck exceeding the maximum height limit, Chapman contacted the Oregon State Police.
“Trooper Toni Rauqust responded to conduct a truck inspection on Weatherman’s truck,” said Chapman. “He was found to be in violation of his load requirement, and was issued a citation for the violation.”
The OSP citation was $110, and other citations and violations were unknown as of press time.
Pacific Power and Light was soon dispatched to the scene, and worked for more than five hours with two crews to restore power back to approximately 200-250 power customers.
“It went out at about 11:30 a.m., and we got the majority of them back on at 4 p.m., and we got the last 25 or so on at 5:30 p.m.,” remarked Dan Michael, Pacific Power and Light lineman representative for Prineville.
In addition to the power poles and power lines, a transformer was torn down and spilled some oil on the ground. Scott Porfily of SMAF Environmental sent a crew to the site to do environmental cleanup.
“They dug about a half yard of dirt out and replaced it with some top soil, and cleaned up everything around there,” said Porfily.
Sheriff’s deputies required Weatherman to have a loader come to the scene and take his load of logs down to the legal limit before he continued his travels.
Wainwright Road was closed to traffic for about two hours until the area was made safe and the debris in the road was cleared.