Good Samaritan helps raise Verizon cable to reopen Highway 126
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: January 25, 2013
What started as a utility pole replacement ended with snarled traffic Tuesday on Highway 126, after a telephone power cable fell across the freeway west of Hallock Road.
And according to Santa Paula Asst. Fire Chief Kevin Fildes, a private citizen turned Good Samaritan proved to be “the hero of the day” for helping to abate the hazard and reopen the highway to traffic. The incident occurred January 22 at about 8:30 a.m., the day after a utility pole was replaced on the side of the highway.
“Evidentially on Monday Verizon hired a contractor and replaced a pole,” but, Fildes said, early on Tuesday the wires “slipped or moved to where large trucks, semis, were able to hit it.” With each hit, Fildes said, the poles were pulled closer together until the cable was “probably only a few feet off the ground.”
A Rotor-Rooter plumbing van “with a rack clamped to the side came along” and snagged the cable, tearing the rack from the vehicle. That specific incident led to a response from Santa Paula police and fire as well as the California Highway Patrol.
Fildes said the highway, busy with commuters, was shut down until Good Samaritan Norberto Alarcon arrived on scene and offered to help. An employee of Time Warner Cable, Alarcon “used his truck and equipment to actually raise the line up,” which opened the highway to traffic.
“He was the hero of the day for ourselves and the CHP,” said Fildes. “And Norberto stayed there until Verizon got their crews out there” to repair the pole and cable.
Fildes said SPFD and other public safety personnel remained on the scene “for hours, until about 11:30 a.m.,” until the repair work was completed.