By HEATHER NELLIS
Recorder News Staff
TOWN OF FLORIDA -- A woman was sent to an Amsterdam hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries after flipping her vehicle on Route 30, taking out a utility pole that caught fire in the vicinity of Belldons and Thru View Roads around 1:40 p.m. Monday.
GAVAC and the Amsterdam Fire and Police Departments were the first on the scene.. A newer-model, four-door white Chevy had gone off the road into an open field, and the motorist was trapped inside.
The vehicle came to rest on its roof, but AFD Battalion Chief Mike Whitty said no hydraulic tools were needed to get the victim out of the vehicle.
GAVAC Operations Manager Mickey Swartz said the victim was suspended by her seat belt, and once officials were able to make entry into the vehicle, they cut the belt, and slowly lowered her onto a gurney.
Initially, the victim declined transport to St. Mary's Hospital, but reconsidered and was sent there for evaluation, Swartz said.
"She didn't have any significant obvious injuries, other than some minor scrapes and bruises," Swartz said. "The airbags did go, and the car held up good, so the roof didn't collapse. The ground was soft, too, so that also helped."
A state police trooper who's investigating the incident said a preliminary assessment indicates the woman was traveling southbound on Route 30.
"I'm not sure what happened yet -- it seems like she just lost it," he said, adding he will know more as the investigation continues.
Officials had to tread lightly around the scene, because live wires burned from the cracked, dangling utility pole, and still smoked an hour after the 911 call was made.
A National Grid staffer said it would take crews all day today to mend the wires and replace the pole, which was snapped in half. The utility arrived on the scene at about 2:10 p.m.
The utility's outage map on its website indicated the incident caused roughly 550 outages in the town of Florida, with less than five in the neighboring city of Amsterdam. The company's website at 8 p.m. indicated all those outages had been restored.
The Florida Volunteer Fire Department directed traffic as the utility completed its work.
Firefighter Matt Bramer said northbound traffic was rerouted at Route 30 and Route 161, as well as Route 30 and Fuller Road, while southbound traffic was be sent up Belldons Road.
Calls to the state police Troop G spokesman weren't returned, so it's unknown whether the woman, who was not identified at the scene, will be ticketed.