Wreck leaves A.C. Moore in the dark for four hours

Published 7:07 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
The students at A.C. Moore Elementary School were left in the dark most of the day Thursday following an automobile accident that caused a blackout.
According to officials with the Atmore Police Department, Angela Lassiter, 35, of Atmore was driving a 1987 Toyota Camry when she lost control and stuck a utility pole on Laurel Street, which runs parallel to A.C. Moore. The impact of the collision broke the pole in half and broke power lines loose, which killed the power to the school.
"I was standing outside when it happened," A.C. Moore principal David Nolan said. "I went to the truck and I saw just about the time she hit the pole. It sounded like a shotgun went off. They heard and thought somebody had shot a gun. I relayed the message that somebody hit the pole."
Lassiter's vehicle also crashed through the wooden perimeter fence on A.C. Moore's property before coming to a stop. The accident occurred at approximately 11:01 a.m. and Nolan said power wasn't restored until about 2:45, 10 minutes before students were dismissed for the day. The outage limited what the teachers could teach for the remainder of the day.
"We did very little," Nolan said. "It limited class work. About all we could do were things we could see. It was hard for them to write because it was dark in the classrooms. Teachers had to do a lot of lecturing and that type stuff. It basically shut us down."
A.C. Moore has 287 third and fourth grade students enrolled. Nolan said lunch had just finished being prepared when the power was knocked out, so lunch periods were moved up from 11:15 a.m. until 11 a.m.
"We had lunch before the food got cold," he said. "It really didn't inconvenience us too bad just slowed us down a bit. It was a change for the students."
Nolan also explained that Thursday's incident wasn't the first time the school had gone without power for an extended period of time.
"Somebody hit a transformer a year ago about two blocks down the road and the surge knocked out a lot of our computer monitors," he said. "We're holding our breath on how many we lost this time."
Linemen crews with Alabama Power were called to the scene and had to reset a new pole and run secondary lines before power could be restored.
No injuries were reported.

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