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Minor injury crash shears pole

Situation reminder to avoid downed power lines

Accident scene safety was a priority for Chad Hill, ICLP operation manager, who is pictured here hanging grounds on the power line, downed due to last Wednesday’s March 22, vehicle accident (background) on Lukes Gulch Road. At the point pictured, the line is de-energized, and Hill is shorting out the line in case it should become re-energized.

Photo by David Rauzi
Accident scene safety was a priority for Chad Hill, ICLP operation manager, who is pictured here hanging grounds on the power line, downed due to last Wednesday’s March 22, vehicle accident (background) on Lukes Gulch Road. At the point pictured, the line is de-energized, and Hill is shorting out the line in case it should become re-energized.



— A Montana woman suffered minor injuries in a single-vehicle accident north of town on Lukes Gulch Road last Wednesday, March 23, involving a power pole.

Erin Adams-Griffin, 42, of Whitefish, was transported to Syringa Hospital. She was wearing a seat belt, and vehicle airbags deployed.

The crash was reported at 11:53 a.m. by passerby Cheryl Geib about the same time Lt. Doug Ulmer, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO), drove up on the scene. Adams-Griffin was reported out of the vehicle.

According to Corporal Zach Nichols, Idaho State Police, Adams-Griffin was northbound driving a 2002 Ford Explorer when, about .4 miles north of Prairie Road, she lost control of the vehicle. The Explorer crossed over the center line and went off the west side of the road where it overturned and then struck and sheared off the pole, which came to rest blocking the southbound lane.

As part of repair efforts, an Idaho County Light and Power Cooperative (ICLP) crew de-energized the line at noon, which disrupted power to three area customers until power was restored at 2:05 p.m.

With this situation in mind, both ICSO and ICLP personnel emphasized the danger of downed lines and to exercise extreme caution.

“The main thing for me is the extreme importance of staying away from downed power lines, even first responders who are there to help,” said ICLP general manager Max Beach. “They are always to be considered energized until an ICL&P crew on site says differently.” 

Adams-Griffin was cited for inattentive driving.

Along with Syringa Ambulance, ISP was assisted on scene by ICSO and Grangeville Police Department.



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