Rush-hour geyser drenches Mt. Hermon Road
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Jul 24, 2009 | 1705 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SCOTTS VALLEY PLUME: A busted fire hydrant spilled a half-million gallons of water onto Mt. Hermon Road on July 16 after it was hit by a driver experiencing a medical emergency. Courtesy photo.
SCOTTS VALLEY PLUME: A busted fire hydrant spilled a half-million gallons of water onto Mt. Hermon Road on July 16 after it was hit by a driver experiencing a medical emergency. Courtesy photo.
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Nearly 500,000 gallons of drinking water spilled into the gutters of Scotts Valley after a driver’s medical condition caused an accident on Mt. Hermon Road.

Driving a red Chevy Blazer, the man ran over a fire hydrant, hit a pedestrian and knocked over a telephone pole at 4:05 p.m. July 16.

Emergency crews closed Mt. Hermon Road in both directions for nearly five hours to clean the area.

It took more than 1½ hours for the Scotts Valley Water District to shut off the 10-inch water main while they waited for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to cut electricity to the area.

“We wanted to verify the power was totally off at that location,” said Charlie McNiesh, district general manager. “We were afraid of possible electrocution.”

Bill O’Brien, the district’s assistant general manager, said the district will try to recoup the money to pay for the water loss from the driver’s insurance.

“It was a significant amount of water,” O’Brien said.

The woman, Scotts Valley’s Tammy Wison, who was struck by the Blazer, was airlifted to Valley Medical Center and released from the hospital.

According to witness accounts at the scene, Wison may have been fortunate to survive.

“I heard a boom and saw her flying up in the air,” said Rebecca Arndt, who turned to look out the window of her office at Plastic Surgery and Med Spa at the corner of Spring Lakes Drive.

Wison’s boyfriend, Jimmy Teeple, was walking on the sidewalk with Wison on their way to Kentucky Fried Chicken, he said.

“(The driver) lost control and hit the fire hydrant, then he jumped the curb and hit my girlfriend,” Teeple said.

The driver was taken to Dominican Hospital and, as of July 18, was in stable condition, according to police.
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