Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

No one was injured Monday during a lunchtime incident in which a loaded log truck traveling north on Dewey Avenue near the Post Office ripped down about 20 feet of power line and knocked down two power poles.

Gordon Hearing, 71, of Cove, was driving the truck registered to Wilderness Firewood LLT, said Phoebe Wachtel, office manager for the Baker City Police.

The power line was de-energized when it hit the ground, said Eric Wirfs, line superintendent for the Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC). Although there was no danger from the line in this instance, Wirfs said the power company cautions people to stay away from downed lines.

“Everyone needs to assume they are energized until we get there to verify,” he said.

Three OTEC members were without service after the line went down, Wirfs said. Two homes on the east side of Dewey Avenue were without power for about two hours. Oregon Trail Sports on the west side of Dewey was without power for five hours and 46 minutes because a corner connection point was damaged and an electrician had to be called before OTEC could restore power, Wirfs said.

Two secondary power poles were ripped to the ground as the truck dragged the power line down. The poles hit the ground and remained close to where they landed, Wirfs said. One pole hit an unoccupied parked car as the log truck dragged the line down Main Street. No one was hurt.

Valerio said the incident remains under investigation.

“We know our lines were well above clearance levels,” she said.

Wachtel said she was eating lunch at the Lone Pine Restaurant on Main Street and watched as the truck dragged the line down to the area of the former Ford Garage in the 2300 block of Main Street.

“It looked like the truck had a tail,” she said.

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