Crash into power pole catches second vehicle on fire

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Wednesday-afternoon crash into a telephone pole resulted in a parked vehicle being destroyed by fire.

Dustin R. Phillips, 41, Greencastle, was northbound on County Road 300 East approaching a pair of 90-degree turns in which the road turns into County Road 275 East.

Driving a 1997 Ford F-150 registered to Leanne Ford, Greencastle, Phillips advised he approached the first corner too fast, locked up his brakes and left the roadway, hitting a utility pole.

The impact snapped the Hendricks Power pole and brought down the lines onto a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu parked at 3997 S. CR 275 East and registered to Matthew S. Cliburn.

The power line caught Cliburn’s vehicle on fire. It was fully engulfed in flames when emergency personnel arrived and was destroyed.

Phillips remained in his car until Greencastle Fire Department personnel told him it was safe to get out.

The driver told Deputy Brian Helmer he was going about 25 or 25 mph when he lost control and hit the power pole.

Helmer told him an impact at that speed does not snap a utility pole. The deputy also pointed to the long distance of the skid marks on the road.

However, Phillips still insisted he was only going 20 or 25 mph.

Ford, the owner of the vehicle, arrived on the scene and told Helmer the truck was not insured.

Phillips was cited for speed unreasonable under the circumstances and for driving without financial responsibility.

The pickup truck was towed.

Helmer estimated damage at $50,000-$100,000.

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