Three pigs put down after accident near Hancock

Truck carrying livestock catches fire after striking telephone pole, then takes out 8 more poles

September 15, 2011
  • This tractor-trailer carrying livestock struck a utility pole at the intersection of Slabtown and Orchard Ridge roads near Hancock on Thursday night, caught fire and knocked over eight more utility poles. Three pigs that escaped from the damaged trailer had to be euthanized.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HANCOCK — Three pigs were euthanized Thursday after the truck and trailer hauling them struck a utility pole, caught fire and took down eight other utility poles, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The accident occurred around 7:48 p.m. near the intersection of Slabtown and Orchard Ridge roads just east of Hancock, sheriff's office Lt. Tom Newton said.

Newton said the driver of the truck was attempting to turn from Slabtown Road onto Orchard Ridge Road, but took the turn too sharply and struck a utility pole.

A transformer fell from the pole onto the truck, causing it to catch fire, Newton said.

The driver, apparently startled by the fire, "floored it" and managed to take down eight other utility poles, Newton said. Deputies were not certain if the truck struck the other poles or pulled them down by the wires, he said.

At least one pole fell onto the trailer that was filled with pigs. Three pigs got loose from the trailer and were injured in the accident, he said.

Newton said all three pigs had to be euthanized.

The driver was uninjured in the accident, he said.

Newton said he believed Orchard Ridge Road was closed to traffic Thursday night.

Todd Meyers, spokesman for Potomac Edison said seven utility poles were broken in the accident and had to be replaced.

Crews from Berkeley Springs, W.Va. and Williamsport would be working overnight to replace the poles and restore power to 105 customers who lost power due to the accident.

"That's a lot of poles," Meyers said. "We get a big storm with lots of wind and we will have some broken poles, but seven is a bunch to replace."

Potomac Edison is aiming to have power restored to its customers by 6 a.m., he said.

— Kate S. Alexander

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