A semitrailer crashed into a utility pole on Tooele City’s Main Street on Thursday afternoon, downing power lines and sparking a fire under the trailer.
The semi was pulling a double trailer and heading northbound on Main Street around 2 p.m. in the area of 850 North when the driver experienced a medical emergency and went off the right side of the road, colliding with the utility pole, according to Tooele City Police Sgt. Tanya Kalma.
The pole fell onto the cab of the truck, with the transformer and lines draped over the rear trailer.
Shortly after the accident, the transformer melted through the compartment on the first trailer and fire was sparked by the downed transmission lines near the tires of the truck. As the intensity of the fire and smoke increased, nearby businesses Victor’s Tires and Steadman’s Recreation were evacuated as a precaution.
Tooele City Fire Department crews battled the blaze, which put up thick plumes of black smoke and Rocky Mountain Power crews arrived on scene to shut off power to the power lines, which could still be heard humming as the fire grew.
Kalma said the driver was released on the scene and was not injured in the crash. No citations have been issued, though the investigation into the crash is ongoing.
When the power was cut following the accident, the traffic signal at 1280 North briefly malfunctioned, according to Kalma. The roadway was closed between 600 North and 1000 North in both directions until about 3:30 p.m., when only a single northbound lane remained closed.
Emergency responders were especially worried about the fire due to nearby dry grass in the field north of Denny’s Restaurant, Kalma said.
The Utah Highway Patrol and Tooele County Sheriff’s Office responded to the accident, in addition to Tooele City police and fire.