Auto collision with utility pole knocks out power on West 80

A truck collided with a utility pole Wednesday morning, knocking out power for hundreds of customers along West Highway 80.

According to Russell County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dustin Bunch, 83-year-old Larry Smith was traveling east on West Highway 80 in a 2021 Toyota Tacoma when he fell asleep at the wheel, leaving the roadway and colliding with the utility pole at speeds of around 62 miles per hour.

South Kentucky RECC reported that nearly 896 customers were without power Wednesday morning. By 10 a.m. Wednesday, RECC’s outage map showed 361 customers without power as the company worked to replace the utility pole and restore power to customers along Highway 80. RECC crews began work trying to restore electricity at about 7:30 a.m.

Around 395 Adair County South Kentucky RECC customers were also affected by the outage.

Smith was the only person in the vehicle and refused treatment from EMS at the scene, but was reportedly taken to the hospital a few hours after the collision.

Deputy Bunch is the investigating officer.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.