OKLAHOMA CITY – A Tuesday morning accident knocked out power to a NE Oklahoma City neighborhood, including the Governor’s mansion.
The cause was a mystery at first, until surveillance video exposed the culprit; a semi-trailer truck.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers discovered several hundred feet of power lines crisscrossing NE 23, near Laird Ave, around 6:15 a.m.
“I heard a cracking sound and within a half a second, the power went off,” Rob Santley, an employee of the OKC-County Health Department, said.
Santley had no idea what had just happened outside the department’s maintenance shop as he was beginning his day.
Then he saw the video from the building’s surveillance cameras.
A semi-trailer truck traveling down NE 23 can be seen hitting power lines, which caused a huge power flash.
“I don’t even know if the truck stopped or kept going, to tell you the truth,” Santley said.
OG&E said the 18-wheeler did not stop and knocked down three power poles, which caused the health department and the Governor’s mansion to lose power.
“We have some damage there that someone is responsible for,” OHP Cpt. George Brown said.
Authorities are still looking for that white semi so they can question the driver about why he didn’t stop.
“Is it possible the driver could have gone through there and not known? I guess maybe that’s possible, (but) not probable, according to everything that happened,” Brown said.
In the video, an Oklahoma City school bus can be seen behind the semi and turning off NE 23 after the power flash.
No injuries were reported, but for Santley, it came close to being too close for comfort.
“If the poles would have come the other way and hit the building, I think yeah. I definitely would have thought that,” he said.
Both the Governor’s mansion and the OKC-County Health Department emergency generators kicked in, so normal operations were not affected.
OG&E said they are looking into whether or not the power lines were unusually low across NE 23.
OHP urges anyone with information on that semi to call the Department of Public Safety (*55 on a cell phone).