An investigation was launched last month after a reported “freak accident” in which a utility pole crashed to the ground right in front of a vehicle on Southeast Expressway in Boston. An investigation by MassDOT hasn’t revealed any obvious defect or flaw that could be found by crews that inspected all 120 poles along Interstate 93 the night after the car accident.
Inspection teams conducted a series of quality control tests on numerous poles in nearby neighborhoods as well, examining the condition and metal thickness of the welds, base plates and bolts. They reportedly did not find anything that would signal structural integrity concerns. Still, the pole that fell was among more than 100 slated to be removed by the state department of transportation based solely on their age, as they were nearing the end of their intended lifespan and needed to be replaced with more modern fixtures.
But that replacement apparently didn’t happen fast enough for one motorist, who was driving on the Southeast Expressway around 5 a.m. one recent morning when the utility pole “dropped like a tree.” The driver said he saw the pole falling, but was unable to react fast enough to avoid it. He drove over the pole, resulting in the destruction of the undercarriage of his truck. His tires blew out and the pole was sent flying toward another vehicle, driven by a father of six. That driver, who also survived, explained it was dark and happened very quickly, leaving him no real time to react. Several other vehicles piled up also, though miraculously, no one was seriously injured. Continue reading