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No injuries, but one big mess as van snaps utility pole

Thursday, August 2, 2012

(Photo)
Firefighters and police officers keep a respectful distance from downed utility wires blocking White Street after Jose Ortiz lost control of his van, at right, and struck a pole in front of his home.
(T-G Photo by David Melson) [Order this photo]
An out-of-control van left a mass of utility wires and a snapped pole sprawled across White Street early Wednesday afternoon but, amazingly, resulted in no injuries.

Jose Ortiz, 39, wrecked across the street from his home, Shelbyville police officer Jeff Goodrich said. Ortiz told Goodrich his brakes failed.

Ortiz was at first unable to get out of the smashed van, according to initial reports, raising fears of serious injury.

Scary moments

"I looked up and heard rubber burning and he was coming dead at me and I was afraid Mrs. Neal was going to get hit," said Paul Teague, who was in the yard of the Virginia Neal home where she was sitting on the front porch. The home is on the west side of the street.

"Then he straightened up, then shot right over (to the east side) and hit that pole," Teague said.

"It looked like he never let up. I never heard such a bang," Neal said. "That really made a mess of my afternoon."