DOBSON — Several homes were without electricity for hours on New Years Day after a tractor-trailer clipped a power pole in Dobson.
John Shelton, director of Surry County emergency services, said 9-1-1 received a call at 10:25 a.m. about a wreck off Old U.S. 601. The accident happened about two houses down from the old Allison Tree store, going out of town, he said.
The semi had left Wayne Farms with a full load of fresh chicken breasts when the vehicle left the roadway, ran through a power pole and then flipped over onto its left side, Shelton described.
The driver appeared to have suffered a medical condition that caused the accident, and EMS workers transported him to Northern Hospital of Surry County for treatment. Shelton did not have the driver’s name available at press time.
The truck was hauling 41,000 pounds of chicken, and all of it had to be removed from the truck and from the scene to be trashed because of possible contamination, he said.
William Fulp Wrecker Service and Hazmat Cleanup was on scene taking care of the mess.
Losing electricity on a day where the temperature never gets above freezing can be dangerous for residents, Shelton acknowledged. While on the scene, he noticed several houses with chimneys putting them to use to burn wood to stay warm.
This can be a deadly time for people who wander out into the elements, he noted.
Three weeks ago, many rescuers teamed up to search for a 73-year-old man who had walked out into the woods and gotten lost. The temperature was in the upper-30s that day, and he was still suffering from exposure to the cold after just five hours.
With lows in the teens, those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia have to be closely watched during these times.
Emergency personnel also had a busy day trying to put out a house fire just south of Dobson Saturday afternoon.
Shelton said 9-1-1 received a call at 12:05 p.m. for a fire on Glenhaven Way, off Hamlin Ford Road near Fisher River.
The house was fully involved, and volunteer firefighters from multiple departments were called in to assist, he said. There was some concern about a storage tank outside that could have exploded if the situation were not properly handled.
The house was a total loss.
Shelton wasn’t sure about the name of the family, but according to multiple social media posts over the weekend, the house belonged to Kelly Hembree and her family. Hembree works in the water billing department for the town of Elkin.
Neighbor Brandy Baugus Bowers posted videos of the fire crews battling the roaring blaze.
By Saturday night, April Wagoner Hembree had started a page on www.gofundme.com for the family.
“The Hembrees, a family of four, lost their home and all their belongings today in a house fire,” the page states. “People have been asking what they need and how they can help. Since they do not have anywhere to store anything right now, they are asking for donations or gift cards.”
“Praying for you all,” wrote Chelsey Bauguess, as she made a donation of $40 around midday Monday.
“Love you, Kelly. Hang in there,” wrote Samra Iara, while making a $50 donation.
With a goal of $10,000, the page already had raised $2,930 as of press time Monday.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.