As Red Bank's council criticized conglomerate Jersey Central Power and Light at a recent meeting for its failure to communicate following Hurricane Sandy, town Administrator Stanley Sickles took the opportunity to praise the company's front line workers, including one he said helped save the life of a public employee.
On Tuesday morning, a Shrewsbury borough employee driving a borough trash truck accidentally backed his truck into overhead power lines. The collision snapped three poles and brought down live wires onto the road and truck, trapping the employee inside.
With the driver having already suffered burns and with no way to get him out as electricity could be seen arcing on the ground, Red Bank put in a call to JCP&L, which responded immediately with a truck. After being trapped inside of the trash truck for minutes, it was actually the unnamed utility worker who was able to pull the borough employee from the cab of the truck, a heroic effort Sickles said he believes might have saved a life.
The Shrewsbury employee was transported to Riverview Medical Center for minor burns to his head and neck, Sickles said, and was expected to recover completely. The accident did knock out power to several west side neighborhoods for a few hours Tuesday but the situation was remediated shortly after noon, Sickles said.
Correction: A previous version of this story identified the truck driver as a Red Bank employee. The employee was a Shrewsbury employee.