Power lines fall on garbage truck, employee not injured

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 23, 2016

 Eastpointe firefighters establish a safe zone while waiting for DTE Energy to de-energize the wires trapping a garbage truck near Kelly Road and Curtain Avenue during the morning Aug. 23.

Eastpointe firefighters establish a safe zone while waiting for DTE Energy to de-energize the wires trapping a garbage truck near Kelly Road and Curtain Avenue during the morning Aug. 23.

Photo provided by Eastpointe Fire Department

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DTE Energy and first responders rescued a man who became trapped in a garbage truck when he inadvertently pulled down electrical wires while emptying a dumpster behind 22225 Kelly Road Aug. 23.

“We had a gentleman operating a refuse hauler, and he was in the process of emptying a dumpster into his truck, and he took a look at one set of wires and didn’t realize there was another set of wires directly below, and the dumpster caught a hold of those wires and, bringing the dumpster down, he brought the wires with it,” said Eastpointe Fire Department Capt. Mike Cupit.

“Thankfully he had enough common sense to stay in his vehicle; had he tried to exit that vehicle, it definitely wouldn’t have been a good situation,” Cupit said.

According to Cupit, DTE Energy was on the scene within 10 minutes of the commotion.

Christopher Johnson was parked in front of Papa John’s Pizza on Kelly Road at Curtain Avenue when he witnessed Eastpointe police cars pull up to the scene.

“It sounded like popcorn popping. All the lines were smoking and fire was coming from the wires. There was black and white smoke from (behind) the building, and no one knew where it was coming from. At that time Eastpointe police just kept everyone away,” said Johnson.

DTE Energy was able to cut all power lines away from the truck with the driver safely inside the vehicle, Cupit said.

Once the power lines were cut, the driver was able to reverse the vehicle out of harm’s way, according to Cupit. The driver exited the vehicle himself.

“He was healthy, he didn’t have any burns, no nothing. A little scared, but outside of that he was relatively healthy,” said Cupit.

Cupit said shortly before noon that emergency personnel planned to open Curtain Avenue to traffic within the hour.

“DTE is going to remain on the scene. What they’re going to do is they’re going to restore power to anything that is without power and then they’ll come back periodically throughout the week and reset lines,” said Cupit.

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