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Ameren Illinois workers repair a transformer Tuesday morning in the 1500 block of Fifth Street in La Salle to restore power to homes that had been without it all night after a traffic accident brought down a utility pole around midnight.
A midnight traffic accident left more than 40 homes in La Salle without power through the night into this morning after a truck driver tried to turn onto Central Street from Fourth Street and struck a utility pole, according to La Salle police.
“We’re still out of power,” said Fifth Street resident Marybeth Beltz at 8:30 a.m. today. “I’m glad this didn’t happen last week, or we’d be freezing to death.”
The driver of the semi, Franklin Elroy of El Segundo, Calif., was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage, La Salle police said. Elroy’s vehicle struck a guardrail and utility pole when he failed to negotiate the turn, according to La Salle police.
Ameren Illinois representative Brian Bretsch said the semi hit a pole and brought down a second pole and a wire, leaving 45 Ameren customers without power. Ameren workers came to the scene around 12:30 a.m., and power was restored to 28 customers by 6 a.m., Bretsch said, with an estimated time of 9:45 a.m. for restored power to the remaining 17 customers because a transformer had to be replaced.
Beltz said her power was restored at 9:03 a.m.
Senica Interstate Towing responded to fix the tractor-trailer rig, and La Salle fire and ambulance assisted, according to La Salle police.
There were no injuries, La Salle fire chief Andy Bacidore said.