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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Vehicle crash knocks out power in Monett

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three of the four utility poles broken in a single vehicle crash just before noon on Tuesday can be seen in the photo. Loss of the 69,000 volt Empire District Electric line, on the large pole at center, resulted in a loss of power to much of Monett for two hours. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
A single vehicle crash on Ninth Street in Monett knocked out electrical service to most of the city of Monett on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

According to the Monett Police Department, the crash took place at 11:55 a.m. at Ninth Street and Dayton. A southbound 1993 Chevrolet S-10 pickup, driven by Jerry C. Medlin, 84, of rural Monett, dropped off the right side of the roadway, hit a culvert, vaulted into the air and landed on guy wires supporting a utility pole.

The impact snapped the pole and in a chain reaction broke three nearby poles, including the one carrying the 69,000-volt Empire District Electric's feed to the city. Three of the city's five substations lost power.

Police Sergeant Dennis Camp reported excessive speed was a factor in the crash. The truck traveled 24 feet, turning over on its side when it came to rest.

Medlin and his passenger, Marjorie S. Carr-Jones, 39, of rural Pierce City, both received apparent injuries and were transported to Cox Monett Hospital for treatment. Neither were wearing a safety belt. City electric crews removed live wires from the crash site before the victims could be moved.

Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch reported the power outage temporarily knocked out the city's biggest three wells, #12 at North Park, #9 on County Street and #21 on the Jack Henry and Associates campus. Number 9 returned to service without trouble. The other two wells went muddy and had to be taken off-line.

Electric department foreman Aaron Burdett said the crash was unusual in the amount of damage done. He said it would have been difficult to hit guy wires in a way that would break four poles.

It took two hours to restore service to the 69 KV Empire line to recharge the substations on Seventh Street downtown and in the Industrial Park, west of Tyson Foods. Service was generally restored by 2 p.m. Burdett said the north substation by the IOOF cemetery could remain out of service until late Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

Crews continued to make repairs around the accident scene into the evening on Tuesday.

Empire District Electric and Suddenlink reset wires on the main pole. City electric crews restored power to the other city lines. Crews from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the city street department directed traffic on Ninth Street. Responding to the crash were city firefighters, Monett police and the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District.

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