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Dump truck takes down 15 utility poles with power lines in Henrietta

(Photo: John Sheehan)

UPDATE (6 P.M.): Monroe County Sheriff's deputies say a stretch of Lehigh Station Road remains closed Monday night, after a dump truck ripped down several utility poles earlier in the day.

Utility poles stretched across the road between Masthead Way and E. Henrietta Road. Authorities said a dump truck belonging to Ferrari Excavating got caught on overhead wires taking down more than a dozen poles. The bed of the truck was still in the upright position as it left a construction job.

Jennifer Miner was home at the time and heard the crash.

“I heard (an) explosion, and my window was ready to shatter,” she said.

The driver of dump truck and four other people had to stay inside their vehicles as the live power lines made for a dangerous situation.

“Because of the live, energized lines, we're not able to go in as quickly as we normally do,” said Henrietta Fire Chief Mark Stzyzynski. “We have to scout it from a safe area, try to touch base with people trapped in their vehicles and let them know to stay put until we can get the power cut.”

RG&E crews quickly responded cutting the power, at one point leaving more than 12,000 customers without electricity.

It caused a small headache for one driver, unable to get home.

“I actually just got off work trying to head home,” said Christian Harris of Henrietta. “I stopped because I wanted to be nosy, to see what was going on. This is the way I have to go down; I can’t now. I’m going to have to take a little detour.”

The construction truck was leaving a road paving job at Rush-Henrietta High School at the time. The school was forced to hold high school students and staff inside for about two hours as a safety precaution.

People who live nearby were also told to stay in their homes.

Chief Deputy Michael Fowler with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said, “Two people were evacuated for minor issues. They did not want to remain in their home. They chose to leave, so we assisted them getting them out of the area.”

“I’m thankful we’re alive,” Miner said.

Deputies told 13WHAM there were no injuries to the driver of the dump truck and the four other people involved. The driver is not facing any charges, but is expected to be ticketed.

Around 6 p.m., deputies said new poles are in the process of being installed and RG&E is working to clear the road.

As of 6:30 p.m. about 50 RG&E customers remained without power.

The shelter-in-place order was lifted around 6 p.m., but deputies are still asking citizens to avoid the area due to safety concerns.

Deputies say they are coordinating with the American Red Cross to provide aid to affected citizens, and that if anyone is in need of help, they should call 911.

The Rush-Henrietta Central School District says sports and pool-related activities have been canceled until further notice. Driver's education has been moved to Good Shepherd at 3288 East Henrietta Road. "English as a New Language" summer classes have been canceled for Tuesday, but will be held Wednesday through Friday at Roth Junior High School at 4000 East Henrietta Road. The district is also instructing students taking summer classes at the Fairport site to be picked up and dropped off at Roth. The district says phone and email service are also intermittent.

Original article:

Henrietta, N.Y. (WHAM) - A stretch of Lehigh Station Road will be closed for several days after a dump truck ripped down 15 utility poles and dozens of power lines Monday morning.

Lehigh Station Road is closed between East Henrietta Road and Pinnacle Road.

The driver of the dump was trapped inside the truck for nearly an hour before being able to get out, but was not injured. RG&E crews had shut off the power to the lines in order for that to happen.

Two more cars were on the road when the poles and wires came down, and were damaged by either wires or the poles. Deputies said a total of five people were uninjured and were able to get out of their vehicles safely.

Deputies on scene said a contractor working at the Rush-Henrietta Senior High School left the school with its bucket up and took down 15 wires. There are an additional six wires that are in danger of coming down.

According to RG&E, more than 1,240 customers were without power initially. The vast majority of those customers had their power restored within an hour; only about 50 customers remain without power.

A spokesperson for the Rush-Henrietta School District said summer school students who are off site and are slated to return between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. will be dropped off at Roth Junior High School on Monday.

No one at the high school or along the road has been injured, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the section of the road will be closed for several hours, if not multiple days as this is cleaned up.

Deputies said they will conduct an investigation and discuss whether charges could be filed against the dump truck driver.

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