Driver escapes serious injury in collision with utility pole


Emergency responders freed a driver from her car on Sunday, March 24, after an accident in which the Delaware woman grazed a utility pole at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) and Railway Road in Millville.

Special to the Coastal Point • Michele Steffens: First responders work on the accident scene on Route 26 on Sunday, March 24. Special to the Coastal Point • Michele Steffens: First responders work on the accident scene on Route 26 on Sunday, March 24. “It was an interesting accident, Sunday morning,” said Millville Volunteer Fire Company Public Information Officer Bob Powell. “This lady was trapped west on Route 26, right where Railway intersects with Atlantic Avenue. I guess she drifted off of the right-hand side and clipped the utility pole. The vehicle ended up turned over, lying flat on the driver’s side.”

Powell said that first-responders could not remove the driver from the vehicle until after utility workers cut power to the electrical line.

“Once they did, the responders stabilized the vehicle with cribbing and something called ‘struts,’” explained Powell. “What that allowed them to do is, starting on the passenger side of the roof, they started cutting where the post is for the windshield and everything on back, and peeled the roof on the vehicle right straight down. That allowed them to get access to the driver.”

Powell said the road was closed down for a while, while responders extricated the driver. He added that 10 to 12 responders were able to work on removing the driver from the car during the rescue process.

“There were ample responders. You had people who were putting cribbing under one side, and on the other side you had people working with the struts. You can have people working with the equipment to cut the roof.”

Powell said Sussex County paramedics also responded to the accident. He said the woman was treated on-scene, refused to go to the hospital and was taken home by a family member.

“She was very fortunate that she was able to walk away,” he said. “Whatever injuries she had, they must’ve been minor for her to refuse to go to the hospital. When you see the pictures of how the pole was clipped off and how things were, you would think, ‘Holy mackerel! Somebody must’ve gotten seriously hurt.’ But that wasn’t the case.”