Further update: Crash knocks out electricity in central Sweet Home


May 31, 2023

A car that collided with a power pole along Highway 20 early Thursday, June 1, led to a chain reaction of incidents that included widespread power outages and wiring in City Hall catching fire.

Police and Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District personnel responded shortly after 6 a.m. to the collision in the 3200 block of Highway 20.

According to a SHFAD statement, damage to the power pole was severe and caused wires to hang low over the westbound lanes of the highway. Power lines became caught on a delivery truck, which caused damage to several power poles and transformers, according to SHFAD, resulting in "power outages to a large portion of Sweet Home." Traffic lights at the intersection of 18th Avenue and Main Street were out following the collision.

Sweet Home police reported that Kyle Hanscam, 30, of Sweet Home, the driver of the car, was arrested on charges of reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief. He also was taken into custody due to an outstanding Sweet Home Municipal Court warrant for failure to appear on a resisting arrest charge.

Sweet Home Fire District crews were managing the motor vehicle accident, when reports of smoke inside City Hall came in. The Incident Commander then assumed command of the City Hall incident as well. An engine company from the motor vehicle accident was reassigned to City Hall and confirmed there was smoke inside the building.

Crews were able to locate the source of smoke, which was due to some electrical wires that burned in the crawl space under City Hall. When crews located the damaged wiring, there was no active fire. Crews then used ventilation fans to remove the remaining smoke in the building. 

Traffic was rerouted off Highway 20 due to the power lines on the roadway. This included a Sweet Home Fire District ambulance that was dealing with a different medical emergency. 

Other local building occupants were contacted to ensure there were no other fire issues in the surrounding area, SHFAD said.

The New Era will report more details in our upcoming edition.


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