Accident in Lone Pine sets hay ablaze

Register Staff
Staff Writer

The driver of a truck tractor towing double trailers loaded with large hay bales through Lone Pine on Saturday afternoon was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 395 in the slow lane at an undetermined speed. For unknown reasons, the driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle, which traveled off the west road edge onto the sidewalk. The vehicle then collided into several poles including two power poles and a business sign, causing live power lines to fall to the ground. The vehicle crossed Locust Street and collided into the Mt. Whitney Hotel. This collision caused the hay bales to spill onto the roadway and surrounding area. The truck tractor then caught on fire while partially inside the hotel which also caught the hotel and hay bales on fire. Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene and with the assistance of two citizens were heroically able to remove the driver from the burning vehicle. The Lone Pine Fire Department arrived on scene and began putting the fire out. The injured driver was transported to Southern Inyo Hospital. The hotel room was empty at the time of the collision and no residents of the hotel were injured. Cal-Trans arrived to the scene and set up a detour for highway traffic. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was requested to the scene and worked throughout the day to replace the power poles and lines to restore power to the affected residents and businesses of Lone Pine. Approximately 100 residential and four commercial/business customers were without power due to a traffic accident, according to the utility. Power was restored that evening. The cause of this collision is still under investigation.
Photo courtesy of California Highway Patrol/Bishop office