Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Truck driver downs wires, services

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        ROSS TOWNSHIP — Hundreds of homes and businesses were without telephone and cable television service much of the day Monday after a utility truck driver accidentally pulled down overhead wires on U.S. 27. No electric lines were disturbed and there were no injuries, Butler County sheriff's deputies said.

        Deputies said Andrew Neeley, 22, of Brookville, Ind., had the boom of his cherry-picker truck extended and was driving south on U.S. 27 when the boom pulled down the telephone and cable lines, and snapped a utility pole.

        The wires, strung across the U.S. 27 overpass over Ohio 128, struck two other vehicles, causing minor damage.

        Mr. Neely, a worker for Asplundh, was working on street lights on U.S. 27 when he inadvertently left the truck boom up while driving from one light to another, police said.

        The accident happened about 11:30 a.m.

        About 400 customers were without phone service for several hours Monday afternoon and evening, said Tressie Long, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati Bell.

        Service was expected to be restored by 9 p.m.

        Cable television service to about 500 customers also was disrupted most of the day, said Tom McDowell, a maintenance technician for Adelphia Communications.

        Mr. Neely was cited for failing to maintain assured clear distance.

        He is scheduled to appear in Hamilton Municipal Court on July 13.

        Asplundh officials would not comment.

        Traffic was reduced to one lane in each direction on the U.S. 27 overpass as crews replaced the utility pole and restrung the wires.


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- Truck driver downs wires, services