Student driver’s truck snags low utility lines, damages homes

The scene where a student driver snagged overhead utility lines in downtown St. George, Utah, Sept. 5, 2018 | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Three homes were damaged this afternoon and several residents were startled out of their chairs after a student semitractor-trailer driver caught low hanging utility lines in downtown St. George.

At approximately 2 p.m. a Dixie Technical College training truck traveling north on 500 East between 400 and 500 South at normal speeds, caught some low hanging fiber-optic cable lines with the upper portion of his trailer, said Sgt. Jeremy Needles of the St. George Police department.

Damage from downed fiber optic lines, St. George, Utah, Sept. 5, 2018 | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

As a result of the accident, three power poles were shattered and two homes had significant damage to their roofs. A third home had an air conditioning unit nearly knocked off its stand.

Neighbor Karly Chew was the first to run out of the house and call the authorities when she heard what she initially thought was an earthquake.

“There was just a big, loud, huge boom and we’re guessing it’s because it just knocked the pole onto the air conditioning.”

Homeowner Don Lowe said he had remarked to his wife that the utility lines looked a little low after watching a local garbage truck strike them earlier in the day.

Utility worker cleaning up debris from 500 East, St. George, Utah, Sept. 5, 2018 | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

“The wires were hanging down when they took the trashcans up … they hit the wires.”

Needles said information about the garbage truck had not been confirmed yet and the lines may have been hanging down lower than usual due to an ongoing construction project on the next block by Dixie State University.

“The lines have to be a certain height within the roadway,” he said. “They are trying to determine if the lines were in fact the proper height or if not, if they had been adjusted due to the construction over on the college property.”

Needles said the driver was a bit surprised by the incident but was probably not at fault. No citations were issued and the investigation is still ongoing.

The road is expected to remain closed throughout the evening as crews replace the downed poles and clean up debris.

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  • DRT September 5, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Fiber optic cable outfit is gonna have some big bills to pay. Really doesn’t matter why the cable was below the legal clearance.
    If the cable was interfered with by the nearby construction, that is also looking at liability here. I can see the ambulance chasers putting on their running shoes.

  • mesaman September 5, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I just realized the new name of the area vocational college is now Dixie Technical College. Does that mean their credits will transfer to four year institutions? Will the driver receive a passing grade and a hand shake since he doesn’t appear to be at fault? Will this school soon become the Dixie Technical University?

  • utahdiablo September 5, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Whoo Boy, where to begin…just too damn many crashes going on around here everyday folks, if you want to build more homes and bring in more people, you need to pay to have more and more Law enforcement, Firemen, roads, etc….it’s called infastructure people, it’s not free and only going to get worse here without it

  • Striker4 September 5, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Oops !

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