Overnight accident leaves thousands without power - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Overnight accident leaves thousands without power

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

1,800 residents in Central Lubbock were left without power this morning after a pick-up truck hit a utility pole.

Police say the driver of a red pick-up truck hit the pole on 38th and Joliet around 2:30 a.m. He then fled the scene on foot. The impact knocked down the pole, taking out a transformer.

Hundreds of homes experienced power loss. Sergeant Jonathan Stewart with the Lubbock Police Department said so far no arrests have been made and LPD is still working to try and identify the driver.

Public Information Officer for LP&L Chris Sims said the truck knocked out one of the main feeder lines to an LP&L substation leaving homes between 34th and 50th from Quaker to Flint without power. He added that replacing everything and getting it working again typically takes three to six hours.

"The on-call crew arrives and then they will go through an inventory on what all is going to be needed to get service restored," said Sims. "They'll go through a checklist and call our operation center and the dispatch determines who to call out at what time intervals."

In total, an estimated 35 LP&L employees were on the scene throughout the morning and crews remained until around 11:30 a.m., loading the telephone pole that had been hit onto a truck to take it to pole storage. It was splintered at the bottom from the force of the accident and had lines burned down the side where the live electrical line rested against it. 

Sims added that most power was restored around 8 a.m. and said the best thing to do if the power goes out is to call LP&L and make them aware of the issue. If it's a single home, Sims said it will usually be fixed in around 40 minutes, but for unexpected outages like this one where equipment has to be replaced it takes a lot longer.

Texas Tech student Jacob Poole lives near the corner of 38th and Juliet and said he and his roommate were woken up by the accident.

"It was about 2:30 this morning. We were asleep and heard the crash. The transformer went down - a couple of bright flashes of light that we could see through our bedroom windows - and we got up and came outside," Poole said. "I made the 911 call and my roommate came out and tried to get the car to see if anybody was okay, but by then the person was gone."

He said that he curled up with his dogs to try and stay warm through the night and was more annoyed that he couldn't sleep than scared at what happened.

The truck also hit a fire hydrant, causing a huge water leak. Crews had to repair the water line underneath the pole. The accident also caused cable to go out but has now been restored.

Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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