Accident causes power outage

A truck became ensnared in utility wires after it hit a utility pole while trying to make a turn from Route 107 on Monday.

After many residents gained power back on Monday morning, it was short lived. At 9 a.m. Richard McLaughlin, 53, of Easton, was traveling on Route 107 in the area of Umpawuag Road when he lost control of the dumptruck her was driving.

The dumptruck was carrying landscape equipment on a trailer attached to the truck. When it took the sharp turn on Route 107 it rolled over and struck a utility pole knocking out 50% of the town’s power, including the three schools, said Police Chief Douglas Fuchs.

The driver sustained no injuries and was cited by both the Redding Police Department and the Connecticut State Police truck squad. Redding police called in the state police due to the nature of the vehicle. Drivers need to obtain a commercial vehicle license in order to operate the type of vehicle driven by Mr. McLaughlin.

The driver did not have the proper license to drive the commercial grade vehicle and was also cited for moving violations and equipment violations.

“He received about $2,000 worth of tickets and he will be paying the tow bill. Connecticut Light and Power will also back charge him for the cost of that day,” said Chief Fuchs.

Connecticut Light and Power crews were at the scene and working to re-route the circuit. Power was restored around 2 p.m. The road was reopened  to one lane of traffic around 5:30 p.m. and was fully restored at 8 p.m., said Chief Fuchs.

Local schools, including Redding, John Read and Joel Barlow High School, were running on generators due to the power outage caused by the accident, and schools remained open. It was determined it was safer to keep the children in school because of potential bus problems getting some children home.

Three hours after the accident on Route 107, police responded to a two car accident also involving Mr. McLaughlin.

Mr. McLaughlin was traveling on Peaceable Street when his vehicle struck the vehicle of Kimball Hanson, 41, of Norwalk. The accident is still under investigation.

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