By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Campbell County firefighters got an interesting call Friday that involved them rescuing three people from a truck that was suspended almost vertically from a power pole.
Around 8:15 a.m. Friday, firefighters responded to Garner Lake Road in Gillette for a call that a pickup had left the roadway, traveled through the guardrail and up the electrical pole guidewires. The pickup, suspended by the wires, stopped in a nearly vertical position.
Campbell County Fire Department Battalion Chief Kate Eischeid told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that she did not know whether the pickup left the road due to weather conditions or driver inattention.
“If the wires had snapped, like they usually do, the truck probably would have come down hard and rolled to one side or the other,” Eischeid said. “This was probably the better outcome, since the passengers were all restrained, upright and uninjured.”
Once firefighters arrived on the scene, they confirmed with the city’s electric department that the damaged pole and live wires were stable, so they could get the passengers and truck down.
“Once we got the vehicle stabilized, we got a ladder and had the passengers crawl down it through the backseat,” Eischeid said.
It took only about 20 minutes from the time firefighters arrived on the scene to get everyone out of the vehicle. Then, tow trucks helped get the pickup down, but Eischeid could not say whether the truck had been destroyed by the accident.
While the firefighters have seen vehicles in every position they can think of, the Friday incident was unique because of the wires holding the truck upright, Eischeid said.
“I’m proud of my guys and the work they were able to quickly and efficiently do,” she said.