Crash clips utility pole

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By John Barnhart

    A single car accident late Friday afternoon clipped off a utility pole and blocked traffic on U. S. 460 west of Bedford.

    According to state police, Anna Holland, 45, of Bedford was driving west on U. S. 460 in a 2000 VW Beetle when she ran off the right side of the road. She hit a drain culvert, overturned and struck a utility pole. She was transported to Bedford Memorial Hospital with injuries that did not appear life threatening. Holland was wearing her seatbelt and state police say that the belt saved her life.

    The crash occurred about a mile west of the rhinos and both lanes of the highway were blocked because the accident left a power line hanging low across the road. They remained blocked until an Appalachian Power crew was able to cut power to the lines. Westbound traffic backed up to the bypass.

    Terry Hodge, a truck driver from Bristol, Tenn., thought he was seeing a horror story unfold in front of him. He watched the Beetle do two flips and go airborne before hitting the pole and landing upside down.

    Hodge left his truck and went to the car, expecting the worst. He found Holland alive and attempting to get free of the airbags and seatbelt in order to get out. Hodge said that he saw smoke and, worried about a fire, pulled Holland out. He was relieved when Holland's primary concern was her purse and whether her face looked OK. He said she was able to walk, but was shaking.

    "I just thank the Lord she's alive," he said. "Thank God she's alive."

    Hodge was on his way back home to Tennessee when the crash happened.

    "I'm going to be late for dinner," he commented.

    "At least it's a beautiful day," he added, as he stood in the shade of his tractor trailer rig waiting for the road to clear.