Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Legislator uninjured in collision with pole

Sheriff reports Donna Pence issued citation in crash


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Donna Pence

    The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that state Rep. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, was  not injured in a vehicle collision last week with a power pole but was issued a citation alleging “failure to maintain lane.”
    Sheriff Gene Ramsey said the pole was sheared off in the accident, with damage estimated at $5,000, and that two other vehicles that struck downed power lines or debris from the collision each sustained about $1,000 in damage. He said the Pence vehicle, a 2010 Toyota Prius, was deemed a total loss.
    The accident occurred at about 8:50 a.m. on Thursday on state Highway 75 about five miles south of Bellevue. Pence, 70, was northbound en route to meetings in Hailey, including one concerning Friedman Memorial Airport.
    “I went to change a CD and I looked up and was headed for a pole,” Pence said at the meeting in explaining her reason for being late.
    Ramsey said Pence provided the same explanation to deputies investigating the accident. He said the Pence vehicle “crossed the lane of travel, ran off the road and hit a power pole and a fence.”
    The sheriff said Pence was wearing her seatbelt and that the airbag of her vehicle deployed in the collision.
    There was no mention of sparks from the downed power line in the investigation report, indicating that the power tripped off automatically when the pole was severed.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com






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