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Rt. 97 Closed For Hours After Crash Knocks Down Live Wires

A Wenham resident was not injured after the car crashed into an utility pole on Rt. 97 on Thursday evening, closing the road for several hours after live wires crashed to the ground.

A portion of Route 97 in Wenham was closed during the rush hour on Thursday evening after a car crashed into an utility pole, knocking live wires to the ground.

It was not immediately clear why the car left the road near 21 Topsfield Road, just north of the Beverly line.

Wenham police said the driver, Nancy MacKenney, 82, of Wenham was not injured and she denied medical attention. Police gave her a ride home to her Maple Street home after the crash.

Sgt. Jeff Tobey said it was unclear whether charges would be filed or tickets would be issued. The investigation will continue, police said.

The air bag went off in MacKenney’s 2005 Lexus sedan and she was wearing her seatbelt, police said.

The first call about the crash came in at 4:47 p.m. and Tobey, who was first on scene, arrived to find MacKenney still in the car with wires down on top. She was alone in the car.

But later, firefighters from the determined that the wires on her car were phone wires and guide wires and she safely got out on her own, police said.

But the crash snapped the utility pole and live electrical wires were down in the street. The road, also known as Topsfield Road, was closed between LP Henderson Road in Beverly and Cedar Street in Wenham.

A crew from National Grid arrived to begin repairs at about 5:30 p.m. As of 8:30 p.m., a crew from Verizon had yet to arrive.

“It is potentially another hour before the road is opened,” Tobey said at about 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Power had to be cut to one home on Topsfield Road while the repairs were made. Otherwise, electrical service was not interrupted.

National grid spokeswoman Debbie Drew also estimated that the repairs would likely last until about 9:30 p.m., when the road could be reopened.

Tobey said there were no brake marks at the scene and witnesses said they did not see an animal dart out in front of the car – which was driving northbound - or any other reason why the crash may have occurred. While it snowed lightly earlier in the day, the road was clear and dry at the time of the crash, Tobey said.

“We don’t know why it happened,” Tobey said.

It was the second crash involving an utility pole in Wenham in recent weeks. A man , damaging an utility pole and closing the road for several hour. He received minor injuries and .

Robert Gates January 20, 2012 at 04:27 AM
As of 11:30 p.m., Rt. 97 is still closed.

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