Cheshire Power Outage Caused by Dump Truck Hitting Wires

CHESHIRE, Mass. — The widespread power outage on Monday was caused by a truck delivering bivi chip at the town garage that hit the high-tension wires. “Luckily there were no injuries and only minor damage to the truck,” Highway Superintendent Blair Crane told the Selectmen on Tuesday. Crane said the operator initially raised the truck to dump the material and as he pulled forward to empty the last bit from the dump body, he hit the high-tension wire.

“It startled him as it would because I am sure it made a lot of noise and sparked so he panicked and went to put the body down to get them away from the wires,” Crane said. The truck then hit the secondary wires that created another short electrifying the truck and putting a 24-inch gash in the rear tire. “That startled him even further so at that point the only thing he could think of was to get away from the truck.

Bad things were happening,” Crane said. “Luckily both the high tension and the secondaries when he connected with them tripped a fuse so there was no juice there so when he got out of the truck, he was OK.” Crane said the driver was experienced and had been delivering in the same spot for the past 10 years. Only a few weeks ago he had made the same delivery, he said.

“He has been hauling salt and sand here for years and years and he just had a long day and screwed up — that’s why they call them accidents,” Crane said. “He knew [the wires] were there … he just forgot where he was … “But no one was hurt and at the end of the day that is all that matters.” Selectman Robert Ciskowski was concerned and asked that some measure be taken, perhaps training or signage, to lessen the chances that this will happen again.

“It knocked out a good portion of Cheshire and it could have been fatal,” he said. “Any ideas you have to help this from happening again I would be glad to work with you. We don’t want any fatalities.” Crane said he called the truck’s employer but did not write an incident report.

He said he does have thorough notes. He will think about possible solutions but noted it would be impossible to dump anywhere else at the garage because the site is too small. Crane added this has not happened before and a dump truck is the only equipment that would hit the lines.

In Town Administrator Mark Webber’s report, he noted that so far out of the 22 license applications submitted to the Cannabis Control Commission from Berkshire County none are from Cheshire. “After all we went through, they haven’t submitted. They went from here to there to there, but nothing has gone to the state,” Webber said. “It is hard to get excited about some of these people.”

A few individuals have come before the board asking to move forward with some sort of marijuana grow or retail facility.

The most substantial request was from Berkshire Boys who want to erect a grow facility on Fales Road.

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