Dump truck knocks down power lines, hospitalizing 2 pedestrians

Their conditions aren't known.

A dump truck driving with its bed in the "up" position hit some power lines in Forest Lake Thursday morning, causing a terrifying chain reaction that put two women in the hospital. 

Sgt. Mark Richert of the Forest Lake Police Department tells GoMN the driver, who was preparing for work just prior to the incident, had extended his truck's bed to dump out water from overnight rains – but apparently forgot to lower it when he drove off. 

The bed, or "box," then struck a couple of power lines, pulling two poles out of the ground. 

Unfortunately, two women happened to be walking right near the scene of the incident at the time, and both were injured. At this point, it's not known it they were struck by the power lines or the utility poles (or both). 

Authorities also don't have any information on their current conditions, but KSTP reported that the victims are "expected to survive." 

The women were walking to work when this happened. 

As for the driver, Richert says the department is evaluating possible criminal charges against him. 

This type of accident is not unusual

According to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, accidents involving contact between dump trucks and overhead power lines are common, and often lead to death by electrocution. 

Additionally, data from the Los Alamos National Laboratory says power-line electrocutions kill an average of 133 workers per year. 

The organization also says contact between overhead lines and "heavy equipment" – including dump trucks – is a leading cause of such fatalities. 

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