By Brian Stoothoff
A Ford F-250 pickup truck left the road and overturned, coming to rest on its side against a severed concrete power pole carrying 7,200 volts in Ocala, Florida, this morning. Firefighters responded to a 911 call at 4:47 this morning. The first engine company, rescue vehicle, and battalion chief to arrive on scene were dispatched from a fire station just down the road, located several hundred feet east on Southwest 20th Street.
According to Battalion Chief Mark McEarchern, firefighters used several sets of hydraulic extrication equipment and hand tools to safely remove the two heavily entrapped occupants. Firefighters remained on scene for more than five hours. It took almost two hours to extricate one occupant, and to two hours 39 minutes to remove the second occupant. A trauma surgeon was brought to the scene for consultation from Ocala Regional Medical Center. Both patients are in critical condition at this time.
In total, 17 firefighters responded to the scene including a fire department chaplain. Heavy equipment trucks from Ocala Utility Services were called to the scene to stabilize the severed pole and de-energize the wires while firefighters worked below the power lines. Up to 27 businesses were affected and without electric for a period of time.
The incident occurred at 3685 Southwest 20th Street. The Ocala Police Department is investigating the crash.