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Wreck causes power outage for 1,700 local customers

by Darlene J. Taylor

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- About 1,700 local customers were without power for a few hours Friday afternoon as the result of an automobile accident.

Areas affected include old Bridgeport Hill, parts of Summit Park, parts of east Clarksburg and part of Route 20 or Buckhannon Pike, Nutter Fort, said Allen Staggers, Allegheny media representative.

Power was not restored at Harry Green Chevrolet on old Bridgeport Hill -- the site of the 3 p.m. accident -- for at least four hours, said Allegheny Power employees on the scene.

Staggers said a vehicle hit a guide wire that supports a utility pole at Harry Green's.

Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy George Posey said a disgruntled employee's wife with an extra set of keys to the employee's truck came to the car wash area and took the red and silver Ford F-150 pickup.

"When she pulled out, the bumper caught on a guide wire, which broke and started a small fire in the brush. It also caused two power lines to fall on some vehicles," Posey said.

There were more than 100 employees at the dealership at the time of the incident.

Lt. J.O. Singleton said police are still investigating.

"We have at least three damaged vehicles from power lines and she almost hit two or three employees leaving," Singleton said.

Officers planned to speak with the female Thursday evening and said they did know where the truck was.

"It caused an entire circuit of the Glen Falls substation to go out, which serves the areas affected," Staggers said. Crews were on the scene Thursday evening making repairs.

"It works to perfection until something like this happens," said Allegheny employee Brad Cochran, who was busy restoring power to Harry Green's.

Some area businesses were forced to close temporarily while others experienced an increase in sales due to the outage.

Louie Bogumio, an employee of the Marathon Station at 331 E. Pike St., said they did not lose power.

"A customer said there were a lot of gas stations without power and that's why I'm so busy," Bogumio said.

Carol Yeste, manager of Hardee's, said the store lost money by being closed for about two hours due to the outage.

"The power was back on when I came in at 4:30 p.m.," said Yeste, who was preparing to open the restaurant about 5 p.m.

Staff writer Darlene J. Taylor can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at dtaylor@exponent-telegram.com.

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