On July 29, 2020

Unexpected utility pole break sends two workers to hospital

On Wednesday, July 22, at approximately 10:27 a.m., state police troopers from the Vermont state police were dispatched to a reported industrial accident in the area of 390 Blake Roy Road in Middlebury. There, troopers learned that two GMP linemen were injured when the utility pole that they were working on suddenly broke.

Preliminary investigation indicated that lineman Josh McLean, 37, from Brandon and Jared Allen, 25, from Bristol, were removing three phase lines from a utility pole and had begun to send equipment to the ground level when the pole suddenly broke at its base. The pole struck a tracked vehicle as it fell and broke a second time.

Allen landed on the ground adjacent to the pole; McLean landed on the ground with the pole partially on top of him. McLean and Allen were assisted immediately by other GMP workers, then by Middlebury Technical Rescue and volunteers from the Salisbury Fire Department.

Middlebury Rescue personnel stabilized both men prior to transport. Both men suffered head and internal injuries. Allen was transported by Middlebury Rescue initially to Porter Hospital then to UVM Medical Center for further treatment. McLean was transported by Life-Flight Helicopter to UVM Medical Center.

Both McLean and Allen were properly wearing approved safety equipment (harnesses) while they worked more than 50 feet above the ground when the incident occurred.

At present time it is believed that internal damage to the wooden pole is a main contributing factor of this accident, but the incident remains under investigation.

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