Box truck hits utility pole then ignites into flames, Moderate injuries reported


CRESCENT CITY, Calif. (KIEM) – Incredible images from Crescent City Fire and Rescue taken Monday of a box truck fully engulfed after it sheared a utility pole.

Fire Chief Bill Gillespie with the Crescent City

“You don’t anticipate pulling up and you got a single axle large box delivery truck on fire, we had power lines that were still coming down,” he said. “Fortunately, everything had already tripped, so we were able to get crews started and get the fire knocked down.”

Just before 9 o’clock Monday morning, multiple agencies responded to the 24-hundred-block of Elk Valley Road for an initial report of a traffic collision.

Crews arrived to this delivery truck with heavy smoke and flames coming from the rear cargo box – the driver was taken to Sutter Coast Hospital by ambulance with moderate injuries.

Further investigation concluded the transformer on the pole dropped through the roof of the cargo box when the truck hit the power pole, which caused the fire.

Gillespie says, those who find themselves in a similar situation should proceed with caution before attempting to exit a vehicle near downed power lines.

“Electricity, it is a crazy thing when it goes through, you know the path that it can take and it burns all the way,” he said. “Obviously if the vehicle isn’t on fire, stay put and don’t touch anything metal. If it’s too dangerous to stay put, you’ve got to be able to jump clear of the vehicle.”

According to Gillespie, over correcting the truck as it veered of the roadway is most likely the cause of the crash.