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Varmint root of traffic accident

An electrocuted opossum has been credited with setting off a chain of events that sent two to the hospital and left another counting his blessings following a Tuesday morning traffic accident.

Kenneth Mosley said he awoke sometime around 2:30 a.m., “so hot I thought the house was on fire” to find his Stanley Avenue home without power.

“So I did what anyone else would do,” he said. “I called the utilities company.”

Mosley said Andalusia Utilities dispatched two workers, who arrived in a bucket truck. After a quick look of the scene, Mosley said the two determined an opossum had crawled up the utility pole, “tripped something and shorted us out.”

“It was really a five-second fix,” Mosley said.

“They got there and backed up the truck. (One man) was on the ground and (one) was in the bucket. He got about 5 or 6 feet in the air when we saw the SUV coming.”

Mosley said as soon as he saw the vehicle, which he estimated was traveling about 50 mph, he knew what was going to happen.

“(The man in the bucket) hollered for the other to get out of the way. I hollered for him to move, because he was in the kill zone,” Mosley said.

“It happened so quick. He took a dive into the yard, and that’s the only thing that saved his life.”

Mosley said the SUV struck the utility truck, knocking it 17 feet.

The man in the bucket “was knocked about” but suffered no major injuries; however, the driver of the SUV suffered a broken leg and hip, he said. Each was transported to Andalusia Regional Hospital for treatment.

“It was a nasty, nasty scene,” he said.

“It took two and half hours to clean up. Thank goodness, it didn’t end any worse that it did. If that truck had hit (the man), he would have been dead.

“All of this because of an opossum,” he said.

“That thing had been getting into my garbage for years. May he rest in peace.”

Both vehicles were totaled in the incident. Identities of those involved were not readily available from law enforcement.

Shown is the SUV involved in the Tuesday morning accident involving the vehicle and a utilities truck. | Courtesy photo