Morning rush hour got a little worse for many commuters in Langford on Tuesday morning, after a single-vehicle accident saw a Hydro pole sheared off near Belmont secondary on Jacklin Road.
Just after 9:30 a.m., according to West Shore RCMP, a single minivan containing two adults and two children was involved in an accident which saw the power pole, located directly across Jacklin from the school, basically disintegrate. The replacement of the pole took the rest of the day, causing single-lane, alternating traffic to be funnelled through the area, causing significant delays.
There were no injuries to the driver or passengers of the vehicle, and the investigation of the cause was still ongoing as of Gazette deadline.
According to one witness, there was very little damage to the vehicle, but the hydro pole was basically destroyed.
“(The poles are)very durable, but much like a baseball bat, it’s going to have a sweet spot, as it were,” said Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro manager of community relations for Vancouver Island. “The car hit the pole in the exact place it needed to in order to cause that kind of destruction to it,” adding that one of the major reasons they use wood for their poles, rather than making them from concrete or other, stronger material, “is because of its forgiving nature.”
Olynyk says that a regular pole replacement after an event like this would normally take only six hours or so, but due to the amount of switching required to keep the power on, this replacement went well into the night, taking over 12 hours to complete.
“We kept the power on to minimize the impact to our customers, especially knowing that the school was having final exams,” he said.
“Just don’t tell the students we kept the power on just for them, though,” he joked.