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Downed power lines close U.S. 127 in Mercer

August 27, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - A portion of U.S. 127 north was shut down Tuesday afternoon after electrical lines across the highway were torn down by a passing wrecker.

Harrodsburg Police Chief Ernie Kelty said the entire four-lane road was closed for about 15 minutes while Kentucky Utilities workers removed the live wire that lay across all four lanes. After it was removed, traffic was allowed down the stretch of road near Salvisa. Harrodsburg Police and the Salvisa Fire Department responded to the call.

The wrecker has a front-end loader type bucket on it, Kelty said, and it was the bucket that pulled down the wires.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Troy Traynor said the wrecker was driven by George Aldridge, 33, of Lawrenceburg. State police stopped the wrecker as it was turning left onto the Harrodsburg Bypass from southbound U.S. 127.

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Traynor said Aldridge was not aware he had pulled down electrical lines. He said the driver was given a citation by a Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officer, but Traynor did not know the nature if the citation.

Tearing down the lines resulted in a broken utility pole that caught fire. A KU worker was trying to extinguish the fire while he removed the broken portion of the pole. Smoke from the burning pole engulfed the worker.

Traffic in the southbound lanes was further slowed by the highway department's repaving of all four lanes of U.S. 127 north. That work shut down one of the two southbound lanes.

Cliff Feltham, KU's director of communications, said when the wires were broken at 1:30 p.m., it knocked out power to 560 customers. By 2:15 p.m., power to 200 customers was restored and the remainder by 4:10 p.m.



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