Snapped Off

The broken section of a utility pole hangs from power lines over a portion of State Road 56 in Hanover on Friday.

Although the driver escaped injury, Friday’s single-vehicle wreck on State Road 56 in Hanover knocked out power to about 2,000 Duke Energy customers in Hanover and on Madison’s hilltop as workers spent hours replacing a broken utility pole and repairing damaged equipment.

The accident was reported at 11:55 a.m. when a vehicle left the roadway, rolled and struck a wooden utility pole, breaking it in two and leaving a section of the pole hanging from power lines high above State Road 56.

“The driver walked away but utility workers were hours putting everything back together,” Chief Deputy Joshua Taylor of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said. “They were at the scene until almost midnight and the way the power grid is wired it caused a surge that knocked out power to a lot of homes and businesses. Some people also said it fried their electrical appliances.”

Taylor was unable to release the name of the driver pending completion of the investigation.

The crash was just one of several over the weekend including a vehicle that slide off Thompson and Polk roads at 4 a.m. Saturday and a couple of others that slide off roads during Sunday’s freezing rain. There were no injuries in each incident.

Madison Police Chief John Wallace said roads were slick in Madison for a period on Sunday but Street Department crews were quick to respond and there were no accidents.

Elsewhere, police in Carrollton, Kentucky, and Switzerland County, Indiana, investigated complaints that a person in a mini-van was distributing Ziplock bags containing messages of a hateful nature on Saturday.

Switzerland County Sheriff Brian Morton said a 59-year-old male from the Chicago area was identified by his deputies and stopped near East Enterprise distributing the messages in driveways and some mailboxes. He thanked local residents for the tips, videos and photos they provide to help his officers locate the man and said the county attorney is being consulted on what laws were violated and what charges can be filed.

The information was also shared with police in Carrollton, Kentucky, where Police Chief Michael Willhoite said the county attorney for Carroll County also is being consulted to determine what laws were broken there by distribution of the offensive material and what charges can be filed.

“We take this matter seriously and ask those with any information or tips to please contact us,” the department said in a release.

Meanwhile, Wallace said his department is conducting an administrative investigation related to the “displacement” of a Madison patrol vehicle in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 20. Wallace said the vehicle was not stolen, as some rumors have indicated, but the officer whom the vehicle was assigned “misplaced it” before the vehicle was relocated a short time later.

Wallace declined to elaborate on the incident other than to say the case is being investigated, the vehicle was “locked up” at all times and that the “situation is being handled administratively” and “there will be ramifications.”