(La Porte County, IN) - It might be a while before a truck driver from La Porte gets over the shock of his close call with power lines.
Phillip Stephens, 46, backed into a cornfield at 900 West and 1350 South on Tuesday in his dump truck to deliver more than 20 tons of lime. While dumping the lime on the ground, Stephens told La Porte County Police his truck began to get stuck in the soil.
He then began dumping the rest of his load by driving forward to avoid getting stuck but the still-extended arm on the bucket of his trailer caught one of the overhead power lines. Stephens tried lowering the bucket but snagged a second power line. Per the authorities, both of the lines then snapped from tension to the lines caused by lowering the bucket.
According to police, electricity from the broken lines caught the tires on the truck and trailer on fire.
The police further stated that Stephens jumped out of the truck with a fire extinguisher and put out the flames, fortunate not to have been electrocuted from being close to the live wires. A responding officer made contact with Stephens but would not speak to him further until they moved a safe distance away from the fallen lines.
NIPSCO turned off the power to the lines a short time later.
The truck and trailer, owned by Kaiser Crop Services in Wanatah, have since been repaired.