Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2003

Truck mishap leaves homes dark

August 21, 2003

Those East coast residents in New York and Ohio without power weren't the only ones locked away in the darkness, sweltering under the recent heat wave.

At approximately 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, a Tire Town semi-trailer hauling used tires west to a landfill ran off the road and overturned near the intersection of County Road 8 and 163rd Street. The truck and semi-trailer caught fire under a main power supply line, creating an outage for approximately 300 Westar Energy customers.

Under a mutual aid agreement, the Fairmount Township Fire Department, Delaware Township Fire Department, Stranger Township Fire Department and Tonganoxie Township Fire Department responded to the scene and helped extinguish the blaze.

After the customers spent six hours without power, and more importantly, air conditioning, Westar Energy employees were able to restore service at approximately midnight the following day.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported only minor injuries sustained by the driver, resulting from the vehicle accident.

Jesse Johnson, a Kansas Highway Patrolman, said the right rear tires of the semi-trailer left the roadway; the driver tried to steer the trailer back onto County Road 8 but couldn't, Johnson said.

"He couldn't get the trailer back on the roadway," Johnson said. "It just kept sucking him into the ditch."

The gas tank of the truck pulling the trailer was punctured when the rig overturned and officers believe sparks from the accident, combined with the exposed fuel, caused the truck to catch fire. The blaze completely engulfed the truck, the officer said.

"All that was left by the time the fire was put out was the frame and the motor," Johnson said.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident, officers said.

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