Three trapped in SUV
Three UW-Eau Claire freshmen are all doing fine after downed power lines trapped them in their vehicle for more than two hours Tuesday evening near Golf Road, Eau Claire Fire & Rescue officials said.
Josh Garner-Haynes, Jo Anaya and Nick Damico, all freshmen at Eau Claire, were trapped in an SUV when part of the vehicle ran over the downed lines.
“The stop lights were out, and we were kind of driving into the sun,” said Garner-Haynes, the driver of the vehicle. “I didn’t even see the wires from where I was.”
According to the Eau Claire Police Department, a semi truck had been turning into the parking lot of Fazoli’s Restaurant, 3730 Gateway Drive, when it hit a guide wire to a utility pole, knocking the pole over. The accident happened at about 4:45 p.m.
Employees from Xcel Energy arrived, according to an Eau Claire Fire & Rescue report, and eventually shut off the power and got the men out of the vehicle.
After the third person got out of the vehicle around 7 p.m., the tension of the downed wires then lifted the SUV and flipped it on its side, according to the report. An electrical wire knocked over one of the Xcel workers, whom rescue workers treated on the scene and took to the hospital, according to the report.
The lines also caused damage to Garner-Haynes’ vehicle, he said, which had to be towed. In addition, power was out for several hours and numerous businesses had to shut down, according to the report.
“I’m just glad everyone is safe,” Garner-Haynes said. “It’s just a freak accident – a weird thing to happen.”
- Spectator staff