No one was seriously injured Monday morning when a delivery truck crashed into an electric pole, causing the truck to catch on fire.
Crescent City Fire & Rescue and Del Norte Ambulance were dispatched to the 2400 block of Elk Valley Road at 8:50 a.m. for a report of an accident. The initial call said the driver was still inside the vehicle. While emergency responders were driving to the scene, dispatchers said the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames and the driver has escaped the vehicle.
When the fire department arrived, the found a large Enterprise delivery truck off the west side of the road with large flames coming from the rear cargo box. CALFIRE and the Pelican Bay State Prison Fire Department were also requested to respond to the scene.
Fire Chief Bill Gillespie said the upper third of the electric pole was hanging in the air at the rear of the truck. Firefighters witnessed power lines burn through the truck and drop to the ground. Employees from Pacific Power and Light responded to the scene and confirmed the power lines were not energized, at which time firefighters pulled hoses and began to attack the fire.
With the road closed in both directions, the main fire was knocked down in 10 minutes. Crews stayed at the scene an additional 40 minutes to extinguish hot spots under the collapsed sides and top of the cargo box.
The driver of the truck was transported by ambulance to Sutter Coast Hospital with moderate injuries.
Gillespie said an investigation revealed when the truck hit the power pole, a transformer on the pole dropped through the top of the cargo box and caught the interior on fire.
Gillespie said Crescent City residents should always be careful around down or hanging power lines. He said even if they appear dead, they should always be considered live. If power lines fall on your vehicle, stay in your car if possible. If the vehicle begins to burn and you must escape, do not step out. Instead, open the door fully and jump as far as you can.