Car crash knocks out power
POWER was lost to close to 800 homes yesterday after a car plowed into a power pole on South Arm Rd near Maclean.
Coffs/Clarence duty officer Inspector Brendan Gorman said at 9.55am yesterday, the driver of a Holden Commodore lost control of the car around 250m south of Lawrence Rd.
"The car crossed onto grass on the eastern side of the road where the driver lost control and collided with a power pole, causing the pole to snap," Insp Gorman said.
"The driver was able to remove himself from the vehicle, and was later conveyed to Grafton Base Hospital with a suspected fractured collarbone.
"Inquiries are continuing, pending the results of mandatory blood and urine tests."
Essential Energy North Coast regional manager Brendon Neyland said 791 customers along Lawrence Rd and South Arm Rd were without power after the crash, which brought down high voltage wires.
"Our high voltage protection system worked with the wires came down to the ground, which means that the safety switches we have on the line tripped out the power and eliminated the risk to people," he said.
"It was good to see our safety measures work, and gives us confidence that our network is working as it should."
Mr Neyland said power was restored to 602 customers by 11.15am, with the remainder connected by 4pm after Essential Energy crews finished their repair work.
Nearby resident Angela Wilson said she was at her stove when sparks flew out of it, moments before she heard the explosion from the transformer.
"I was talking to my neighbour and he asked me if I heard the crash, and we both didn't hear the car hit the pole," she said.
"It was lucky with the timing of it, because earlier that morning I had gone for a walk down that very road."
Mrs Wilson said residents along South Arm Rd have been pushing for a speed limit reduction along that stretch of road for years, and accidents are a frequent occurrence.
"It's a dangerous stretch of road, and people come flying through there all the time and going way too fast," she said.
"We've been trying for years to get the speed limit reduced on that stretch, because it's dangerous and when you're trying to get out of our drive ways it's a blind corner, so it's very hard to see cars coming in either direction."