PennDOT plow gets caught in utility lines, knocking out power for dozens

Centre Daily Times, file

Several dozen Clearfield County residents spent Christmas morning in the cold after police say a PennDOT plow crashed into a number of utility lines, knocking out power for about 40 homes along Shiloh and Dale roads in Bradford Township.

The crash occurred at about 8:30 a.m. Monday, when a state Department of Transportation plow truck was traveling north on Shiloh Road at about 35 miles per hour, according to police, when the plow’s operator raised the bed in order to move material to the rear of the truck for spreading. The operator, 77-year-old James Boron, reportedly failed to lower the bed in time and hooked a large number of utility lines and cables with the front of the overhead cab protector.

Police say Boron continued driving, pulling the lines and cables with him, until the vehicle was pulled onto its passenger side.

The incident caused disabling damage to the plow truck, broke five utility poles and snapped numerous utilities lines and cables, according to state police at Clearfield.

Boron was uninjured but was trapped in the vehicle by his seat belt. He was extricated by Bigler-Jackson-Woodland Fire Company crews, then evaluated on the scene by Clearfield EMS.

Crews from Verizon, Penelec and PennDOT worked swiftly to try to restore power to those affected, as freezing temperatures were a cause for concern for several elderly residents. According to FirstEnergy’s website, power was still out to affected customers at 6 p.m., and was expected to be restored by 7:30 p.m.

Shiloh and Dale roads were closed until the downed lines could be cleared, and are expected to be reopen by 7 p.m.

The investigation is ongoing.

PennDOT was reached out to for this story, but the office was closed for the holiday.