Crash in Sweet Home results in outages, fire

A car that collided with a power pole along Highway 20 early Thursday, June 1, led to a chain reaction of incidents that included widespread power outages and wiring in City Hall catching fire.

Police and Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District personnel responded shortly after 6 a.m. to the collision in the 3200 block of Highway 20.

According to a SHFAD statement, damage to the power pole was severe and caused wires to hang low over the highway’s westbound lanes.

Power lines then caught on a Pepsi semi truck and trailer, which caused damage to several poles and transformers, according to SHFAD, resulting in “power outages to a large portion of Sweet Home.”

Traffic lights at the intersection of 18th Avenue and Main Street were out following the collision.

Sweet Home police reported that Kyle Hanscam, 30, of Sweet Home, the driver of the car, a 2011 Subaru Legacy.

Hanscam was arrested on charges of reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief. He also was taken into custody due to an outstanding Sweet Home Municipal Court warrant for failure to appear on a resisting arrest charge.

Hanscam was uninjured, police said. He was fatigued and fell asleep, according to police.

Sweet Home Fire District crews were working at the crash when reports came of smoke inside City Hall.

Workers later remove a broken pole in front of Cascade Timber Consulting, prior to installing several new ones.

The incident commander then assumed command of that incident as well. An engine company from the motor-vehicle accident was reassigned to City Hall and confirmed smoke inside the building.

Crews were able to locate the source of smoke, which was due to some electrical wires that burned in the crawl space under the structure. There was no active fire when crews found the damaged wiring. Crews then used ventilation fans to remove the remaining smoke in the building.

Traffic was rerouted off Highway 20 due to the power lines on the roadway. This included a Sweet Home Fire District ambulance responding to a different medical emergency.

Other local building occupants were contacted to ensure there were no other fire issues in the surrounding area, SHFAD said.