As a city garbage truck backed into the driveway of 4619 Hillcrest Ave. in Terrace yesterday, it snagged some low hanging power lines, trapping the driver inside the vehicle.
“I heard a great big bang,” said Terrace resident Mel Perry who was in the area at the time.
Two power lines hung, snagged on the top-front of the truck, and a telephone line hugged the back. The driver was attempting to turn around on the dead-end street at approximately 10:50 a.m. yesterday when the incident happened.
“The driver did what he was supposed to do,” said Dean Prins from the Terrace Fire Department who was on the scene after the incident. “He stayed inside the truck.”
“Because the vehicle could act as a conductor,” he explained. “The rubber [on the tires] is a good insulator for the ground and for the vehicle itself.”
He said if the driver tried to exit the vehicle, he could act as a conductor within the electrical field.
The driver immediately called his supervisor, who called 911. The 911 dispatcher then called BC Hydro as the driver waited inside, Prins explained.
Although the incident popped a breaker in the area likely disconnecting the power to the lines, said Prins, the driver was waiting for BC Hydro to arrive on the scene to be sure it was safe to exit the truck.
“We’re not electrical experts,” said Prins, explaining that only BC Hydro could assess if it was safe for the driver and surrounding houses.
Neighbouring houses were warned to stay inside until the area was declared safe, said Prins.
“Luckily it’s a dead-end street,” he said, explaining that otherwise traffic would need to be blocked.