Georgia driver hit power line

CHESTER – A Georgia truck driver whose tractor-trailer caused a widespread power outage on Monday had pulled over because he thought he was approaching a bridge with a weight limit, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said.

Kyle R. Nobles, 27, of Woodstock, Ga., was southbound on state Route 2 out of Chester at 4:20 p.m. Monday when he saw a sign for an upcoming bridge weight limit of 10 tons, according to an accident report filed by Hancock County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dezso Polgar.

Nobles was unaware that the sign referred to the Newell Bridge, not to any bridges on Route 2, the report said.

“He stated the GPS units have taken them into restricted areas in the past, and he wanted to stop as soon as possible to make sure the bridge was not on Ohio River Boulevard,” the report said.

Nobles pulled into an empty lot next to Mugsy’s Cafe and Palm Cafe, and his vehicle, owned by the Dalton, Ga.-based Rosedale Transport Inc., got caught on some utility lines, the report said.

Before Nobles was able to stop, the lines stretched so far that two utility poles snapped, the report said.

The accident knocked out power to an estimated 864 MonPower customers in the Chester-Newell area. Power was not restored until early morning Tuesday.

The accident also backed up rush-hour traffic on Route 2, so much so that Hancock County sheriff’s deputies and reserve officers had to reroute northbound traffic into East Liverpool via the Newell Bridge.

Newell volunteer firefighters and West Virginia Division of Highways crews also responded and were on standby most of the evening.

Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said no citations were issued.

“This was not a case of reckless driving,” he said. “There was no intent that he was doing anything improper.”

Nobles was pulling a box trailer with no load inside, the report said. There was minor damage to the vehicle.