By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore woman was finally able to escape, shaken but not badly injured, after being trapped inside her car for about two hours when it ran off a city street and crashed into a light pole.
The mishap occurred shortly before 3 p.m. last Tuesday, July 20, on the farthest reaches of South Main Street, at the Alabama-Florida state line and just inside Atmore’s city limits.
Emergency services reports show that a Chrysler 200 driven by Ladana W. Robinson (age not provided) left the roadway on the final curve coming into town. The vehicle hit the rain-slick, grassy roadside and skidded across a fire hydrant and a road sign before slamming into the power pole and coming to rest in a large puddle.
The impact wrapped the front of the Chrysler around the utility pole and yanked at least one power line down.
City police officers and Escambia County (Fla.) deputies guided traffic around the wreck site, but some drivers remained in the line of backed-up traffic until the emergency operation ended.
Atmore Fire Chief Ron Peebles said firefighters, as a matter of protocol, advised the woman to stay in her vehicle until Alabama Power Company crews could arrive and make sure the power to the line had been killed.
Vehicles coming into Atmore on Florida 97, as well as motorists trying to head into the Sunshine State on Ala. 21, sat still or were diverted at a slow but steady pace until the power company gave the all-clear.
AFD personnel remained on the scene until 5 p.m., ready for a possible rescue, but there turned out not to be such a need.
“We treat all downed lines as being energized until Alabama Power tells us different,” said Peebles. “The power company and (West Escambia Utilities) people came out. Once the power was cut off, the woman got out of the vehicle on her own.”