Two linemen seriously injured when power pole breaks

MIDDLEBURY — Two Green Mountain Power linemen were seriously injured Wednesday morning when the pole they were climbing in Middlebury broke and sent them plummeting as much as 50 feet to the ground.

Jared Allen, 25, of Bristol and Josh McLean, 37, of Brandon were airlifted to University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington for treatment of injuries to the heads and internal injuries.

Vermont State Police were called to the accident near 390 Blake Roy Road at a little before 10:30 a.m. on July 22. VSP Sgt. Steve McNamara reported that McLean and Allen were removing three-phase lines from a utility pole and had begun to send equipment to the ground when the pole suddenly broke at its base. The pole then fell striking a tracked vehicle 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.

Other GMP workers immediately assisted the two men, then Middlebury Technical Rescue and volunteers from the Salisbury Fire Department arrived and helped the pair. Middlebury Regional EMS staff stabilized both men. MRMES took Allen to Porter Hospital, and then he was taken by Life-Flight Helicopter to the Burlington Medical Center; McLean went directly by Life-Flight to UVMMC.

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

Police are still investigating, but their initial supposition is that internal damage to the wooden pole is a main contributing factor of this accident.

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Addison County Independent