LIVINGSTON, NJ — A truck caught fire in Livingston on Monday due to a downed wire that nearly injured an Essex County Department of Public Works (DPW) employee in the aftermath of the weekend’s spring storm.
At approximately 9:10 a.m. on April 4, the Livingston Police Department responded to a call about an incident that occurred at the intersection between Laurel Avenue and Brown Court, where a tree had fallen on a wire the day before. According to police, the DPW employee arrived at that location to remove debris from the fallen tree, but didn’t expect the wire to snap from 25 feet above him.
The DPW employee was up on a bucket about 10 feet of the ground when the primary wire fell and ended up under his truck. According to police, a shock from the fallen wire caused the man to jump down and the truck itself to catch fire.
Ultimately, the DPW employee was sent for medical treatment for evaluation as a precaution, but police said he was not seriously injured. The area surrounding the incident, including the area of Laurel Avenue and Interstate 280 and the area of Route 10 and Shrewsbury, was closed off for the morning until it was cleared.
Police said the department received more than 30 calls on Sunday regarding trees down in the roadway, trees leaning on wires and wires in the roadway as well as calls about a few signs that needed to be removed due to wind. Beginning at approximately 7 a.m. and straight through the day, police said they were busy moving tree after tree and branch after branch on all of the township’s streets so that cars could pass.
According to police, the most significant call was about a tree that fell onto a car on Elmwood Dr. during the storm. Information on how seriously the car was damaged is not currently available because the tree was on private property and police said it is up to homeowner to take care of the situation.