Archive for Thursday, August 12, 2010

Service returns after truck snaps power pole

Semi trucks asked to avoid exit 202 until repairs are made

A Penny's Concrete truck rolled over into a power pole at W. 2nd and McDonald Drive Thursday morning. Over 1,300 Westar Energy customers lost service after the accident.

A Penny's Concrete truck rolled over into a power pole at W. 2nd and McDonald Drive Thursday morning. Over 1,300 Westar Energy customers lost service after the accident.

August 12, 2010, 8:42 a.m. Updated August 12, 2010, 5:00 p.m.


Emergency crews work the scene of an accident at 2nd and McDonald Drive Thursday, August 12, 2010. A Penny's Concrete truck rolled into a power pole, causing over 1,300 Westar Energy customers to lose service.

Emergency crews work the scene of an accident at 2nd and McDonald Drive Thursday, August 12, 2010. A Penny's Concrete truck rolled into a power pole, causing over 1,300 Westar Energy customers to lose service.

W. 2nd and McDonald Drive

A Thursday morning truck accident, coupled with Wednesday evening’s storms, have caused numerous power outages across Lawrence.

Crews had to replace a power pole at West Second and McDonald Drive after a Penny's Concrete truck flipped on its side, knocking out power to more than 1,300 customers.

Residents without power after storm

Many area residents were left without power after a storm moved through the area Wednesday. Westar Energy crews worked Wednesday and Thursday to restore power to all area residents. Enlarge video

Deerfield School, 101 Lawrence Ave., was among those without power early on, but service had been restored by 9:15 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., said Frank Harwood, the district's chief operations officer.

The Lawrence school district’s service center and its 75 employees — including the superintendent’s office, other administrative divisions and some distribution and other operations — were left powerless from about 8:30 this morning until 1 p.m.

Emergency lights and computer servers ran on generator power, Harwood said, but other services were rendered inoperable. That meant computers and office phones — a system on which callers can leave messages but those behind the phones cannot answer.

Harwood said employees made do by sorting paperwork or seeking out computers elsewhere to conduct district business.

As a result of the accident, the Kansas Turnpike Authority discouraged semitrailers from using the west Lawrence turnpike exit 202 until repairs were made, but said the exit was open for all traffic about noon.

Reports indicate one person suffered minor injuries in the truck accident.

The outage caused by the accident occurred minutes after crews restored service to nearly every Douglas County customer who lost power during Wednesday evening’s storm. Thousands were without power for periods Wednesday, as crews worked to repair damaged power lines.

Outages continued through the morning for hundreds of residents, including Evelyn Easum, who had to cancel the daycare she runs out of her home on Fair Lane, near the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Broken branches from the storm caused sparking in her backyard on two occasions during the night, but power was restored by the morning.

A spokesman for Westar Energy said it took the company extra time to restore power to some consumers because there were many smaller outages caused by fallen trees and branches that required removal by crews.

Much of the reported damage from the storm was concentrated to areas east of Massachusetts Street, stretching to Harper Street between 19th and 25th streets, said Jillian Rodrigue, assistant director of Douglas County Emergency Management.

The National Weather Service in Topeka said the storm was most likely a microburst. 6News meteorologist Matt Elwell said the storm produced wind speed in excess of 60 mph in some areas. When a storm produces a microburst, it’s common for the areas affected by strong winds to be confined to a small area, while not affecting other portions of the city, he said.

“It’s all about location,” Elwell said. “It’s happenstance; It’s circumstance.”


countrygirl 6 years, 1 month ago

Been a rough night/day for the Westar Crews!

bkreed1960 6 years, 1 month ago

What a day to be without your electricity!

I_Bejewel 6 years, 1 month ago

"The outage happened just minutes after crews restored service to nearly every Douglas County customer who lost power during Wednesday evening's storm."

I wouldn't be laughing if I was the one without power, but....ha ha ha ha ha!

prairiebound 6 years, 1 month ago

This is the third time (in I believe 1 year) that a truck has taken out power at this same location. Maybe it's time to consider some kind of traffic management or.... I know it's an out there idea but... bury the power!?

Michelle Derusseau 6 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the drivers should realize they need to slow down to make that turn. I know at least one of the previous accidents was also a concrete truck that rolled. Behind the wheel was a "new" driver. Maybe better training is in order!

Ronda Miller 6 years, 1 month ago

It's back on but not in time for pancakes. Cool photo. Hope everyone is ok.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

I consider the Perry Lecomption turnpike road that exits unto Highway 40 the most dangerous piece of road I cross. Now it is the only access for semi's? It will take more lives. Fast 4 lane traffic on 40, long impatient lines to enter or cross those lanes.

Ricci Moyer 6 years, 1 month ago

Amazing though is when I called Westar they said it was because of a malfunctioning circuit. SOME BIG *** circuit.

stephenj 6 years, 1 month ago

Haha yeah i see these Penny's trucks tearin' @$$ all over East Lawrence. Sounds about right.

thomgreen 6 years, 1 month ago

Too bad all those big trucks don't take the suggestion they outlined in the article. Too often they go up to sixth and down to Michigan instead. A big truck trying to turn left onto Michigan from 6th street always causes a snarl in traffic, especially when there is a lot of traffic at the intersection.

guest 6 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if Clouse was one of the firefighters there helping out and Mandell was the that would be awkward.

Laura Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh yeah, it's bad enough with just normal car traffic trying to get off the trafficway onto 40. In the late afternoons there's sometimes 20 cars backed up. Add in semis who usually have to turn slowly? Bad news! A couple days ago I saw some idiot turning from the trafficway exit onto 40 BEHIND a truck that was trying to turn left off of 40 because he was too impatient to wait for the truck to turn (and the truck was waiting for a semi coming east on 40 to pass and I don't know how the idiot turner managed not to get smashed by the semi). He ended up driving east in the west bound lane right in front of me (as I was going west) before he could pull into the correct lane behind the waiting truck. So you've got those idiots already and add in semis...

localonly 6 years, 1 month ago

Ah yes, another Penny's driver lays one over. Figures! They hire rookies, bad drivers, and drivers who can't get a job anywhere else. Penny's just tries to fill trucks to keep up with demand. I know all too well. As a local contractor, I know the way things work there. I know WAY too well.

Bring back LRM please. Those teamsters (union) mixer drivers where good. I know there were many Penny's drivers that tried to get on with LRM during the years. EVERYONE of them that were lucky enough to get on were either fired or quit. LRM had MUCH higher standards and BETTER DRIVERS...PERIOD!

This is too bad. It won't change though. Penny's will always be like this. MCM isn't much better though but Penny's does get a lot of the market. The reason is because of their prices are lower but that's business. Penny's...HIRE BETTER DRIVERS, PLEASE!!!

weeslicket 6 years, 1 month ago

ok. help me out here. how does one make a cement truck tip over. it's not as though this is a top-heavy vehicle. granted, it will be more top-heavy after it's delivered its load-- but a cement truck tips over?

how does such an event actually happen?? - possibility #1: cement truck has delivered its load, and takes a turn at a wicked fast speed. - possibility #2: cement truck has delivered its load, and is then blown over by a strong, micro-burst type wind. - possibility #3: stuck on a third possibility.

how did this fantastic event really happen?

localonly 6 years, 1 month ago


You obviously know nothing about trucks. That's okay, I'm not being mean. First off, concrete trucks (aka…mixer trucks, ready mix trucks…NOT cement trucks) are one of the most top heavy trucks on the road. I laughed when I read your statement…”it's not as though this is a top-heavy vehicle”. Weeslicket…these trucks are VERY top heavy. Concrete trucks carry their loads very high, higher than most other trucks. They are notorious for over-turning. When empty, they are less top heavy. People into construction and trucks, all of them think of a concrete truck when they hear about a “top heavy” truck. Tractor-trailers aka…semi’s, 18 wheelers are easier to drive than a concrete truck. Trust me, I know. I’ve driven them all and for 33 years. Semi’s are not top heavy. Concrete trucks are by the far the most challenging because of a high center of gravity and what you have to do with them on job sites off-roading. Imagine having 22 tons of concrete in your drum and being on a steep angle. It happens all the time. So, it is very easy to roll one of these. As long as you are paying attention, downshifting, watching the road and watching your turns and I can’t stress watching your turns enough, then you should be okay. Although there is always that possibility with anything happening. All it takes is one screw up and you’ll roll one over.

What happened here at this accident was due to the fact that this driver was trying to make that light (arrow) at McDonald and 2nd (2nd to the east, Princeton to the west) before it turned red. He was trying to get to the job site and figured if he would make the light, he would make good time. I know how he feels, been there …done that. When he made that left turn, he took it too fast and with 22 tons of concrete in his drum (if he was hauling a full load), the truck started to tip, his back tires came off the ground and before he knew it, he had lost it. Then it’s too late.

So to sum it up weeslicket…concrete trucks are VERY top heavy, one of the most (if not the most) top heavy trucks on the road. He made that left hand turn too fast and lost it. Add to that that he was a Penny’s driver, so chances are he wasn’t that good to begin with. Add all of those together, you have a disaster. But I digress, I’ve even seen some of the best lay a concrete truck on it’s side. Like I said, it’s pretty easy to do. By the way, the location that this accident took place at…this isn’t the first time a concrete truck has rolled over here. If you remember, several years ago, another Penny’s driver rolled one in this EXACT same location and also taking out a power pole.

Take care and be safe!

weeslicket 6 years, 1 month ago

ok. thanks for the correction. and careful on those corners.

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