By Laura Austin News Review Staff Writer– On Tuesday morning, September 27 of this week, the Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) and The Ridgecrest Police Department (RPD) were dispatched to reports of downed power lines and broken power poles. Upon arrival, firefighters found a semi-truck belonging to Bertrand Enterprises that had come in contact with the wires overhead while in the lifted position.
Bertrand was contracted by Ridgecrest HD Landscape and Design to haul a load of sand. The semi-truck driver who apparently failed to see the power line began disembarking his load with the dump bed in the raised position. The power lines being positioned between the cab and bed, creating tension. In both directions, the power lines which were still connected now compromised multiple poles causing them to buckle and break under the stress.
Firefighters taped off the area to ensure no one would enter the unsafe area. They evacuated others that were too close to the charged lines.
Evacuations included the nearby car wash, its employees, and patrons. KCFD personnel coordinated closures with RPD while waiting for representatives from Southern California Edison (SCE) to arrive. Once on scene, SCE shut down compromised wires to begin repairs. Power and Internet were disrupted for several hours as a result of the incident.
No injuries were reported.