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The Cost of Duke Energy's Wooden Pole

Posted Tue February 5, 2008 12:00 pm, by william K. written to Duke Energy

My son had an accident back several months ago.
Late at night, coming home from a friends house, a deer ran into the road in front of him, he swerved to avoid hitting the deer, and hit a power pole instead. He was not hurt but his truck was, so he had his brother tow it up the road from the accident to a friends house until morning. The next morning, the friends father not recognizing the truck called a tow truck, and the state patrol somehow was involved, and he recieved a ticket for leaving the scene.
Before his court date he received a bill from Duke energy for over $3,000, and a letter stating that the pole had to be replaced.

That seems really extreme. It is a real hardship for him to pay. He is in the construction business, and due to lack of work has been on temporary layoff as an attached employee since November 1, 2007. He only draws $182.00 weekly, and that is barely enough to pay his rent and have food.

I have asked the person in charge of damages to reconsider, but all he says is that they need $100.00 monthly until the debt is paid off.

Reminds me of David and Goliath. But David can't win this one.

Please help.

Settle for a lesser amount, or give him a job, and let him work it off that way. He is more than willing to work for Duke Energy in the Franklin area.


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by klimco Posted Mon May 12, 2008 @ 5:02 PM

This is William Klimas. We have had no response from Duke Power, but
we really didn't think any one in the company would care.
Totally outrageous what they charged.
Still paying on bill as we can, even if it means no dinner tonight!

by fishbjc Posted Mon February 11, 2008 @ 10:29 PM

Sounds like your son had better land himself a part-time position
until this debt is paid. He's lucky he didn't kill himself.

Hitting the deer would have been the way to go, but I understand human
nature; he tried to avoid the deer and whacked the pole instead.

He sounds young, but this is a valuable lesson he needs to learn for
himself. You do not leave the scene of an accident. He needs to pay
this debt; he'll grow up a bit and learn to accept responsibility for
his actions. I'm assuming he doesn't have auto insurance. A costly

I had an accident as a teenager and definitely didn't handle it the
right way. I learned a valuable lesson and it served me well.


by MA Cunningham Posted Sat February 9, 2008 @ 7:52 PM

It appears your son lacks the sense to realize that when you have an
accident, you don't handle things this way. He did, in fact, leave the
scene of an accident, had his brother take the damaged vehicle to
someone else's house where he didn't bother to let the homeowner what
he was doing.

Add to that the fact that he doesn't appear to have car insurance, and
I think you're going to have a hard time getting anyone to feel
sympathy for his situation, even WITH the David and Goliath comment.

They dont have to settle for a lesser amount,nor do they have to give
him a job. He is old enough to have a car and a driver's license, he
is old enough to accept responsibility for his actions.

It's noble that you want to help your son, but please let him grow up
and fight his own battles. You aren't helping him by doing this.


what an ass by BubbaGump Wed September 6, 2017 @ 8:44 AM

by Marty5223 Posted Sat February 9, 2008 @ 4:25 PM

Duke charges

I had a limb being cut. The friend trying to do me a favor
accidently caused the limb to fall on my power line going directly to
my house.

Setting the following in motion
a. Line came down
b. Power pole back of house pulled loose
c. landed in fish point....killing Koi
d. caught back of house on fire
e. knocked out power to 8 homes on a block behind my home for 4 hours

Bottom line I was charged for putting line back up and for the lost
of income to Duke from all 8 homes that were without power.

I had to call fire and Duke Power and my insurance.

My insurance company was great and did cover the cost of everything.


8 homes for 4 hours by donno Sat February 9, 2008 @ 8:15 PM

Yes by Marty5223 Sun February 10, 2008 @ 11:46 AM

Good information by donno Mon February 11, 2008 @ 10:42 AM

by Adam D Posted Fri February 8, 2008 @ 5:04 PM

So PFB deemed it necessary to remove my previous post claiming this
guy to be bad parent for not teaching his kids about personal
responsibility. I also proceeded to tell the OP that paying 3k is the
least of his kids' worries if he actually left the scene of an
accident, so if they want to keep deleting my posts for being honest,
I will just keep putting it up. Raise the bar Pete!

by Angelic Princess:) Posted Thu February 7, 2008 @ 10:12 PM

The state cops were involved because it was an ACCIDENT. What, in his
right mind, was he thinking when he damaged property and didn't call
911/cops? If he is old enough to have this happen, I think he is old
enough to take care of it himself.


by dulynoted Posted Thu February 7, 2008 @ 6:56 PM

Mom, he pays rent/food and has a job even if he is laid off for the
winter months.
Let him do this...it was his accident, his responsibility.
Let him put in a job application for Duke Energy but asking for him is
really wrong.
I know you think you are helping him but you are not.
Lifes lessons are sometimes learned the hard way.

by C A Posted Thu February 7, 2008 @ 12:48 PM

How old is your son? Doesn't he have insurance? If he is old enough
to drive, he is old enough to write letters and take responsibility

I see this so often in this generation. Parents need to teach their
kids to stand up for themselves and take responsibility for their own
actions - even if it is an accident. If they aren't ready for these
responsibilities, they should not be driving.

by cissy Posted Thu February 7, 2008 @ 11:49 AM

Sorry. An obvious inexperienced driver. One must be on alert in areas
that support our wildlife. Did you think to NOT steer to the pole.
This is a basic lesson taught in Driving Schools. A very expensive
lesson that might have caused (residents in the area) to be without
hydro. Pay up and learn to drive defensively.


I disagree by ♥Venice♥ Sat February 9, 2008 @ 5:14 AM

by SiotehCat Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 7:34 PM

Who do you think should have to pay for the pole? I think it is
generous of the company to accept monthly payments. Perhaps your son
should apply for a job and then pay use the paycheck to pay the debt.


I thought the OP suggested it, but it was the company. by donno Wed February 6, 2008 @ 10:45 PM
by S W Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 5:56 PM

I have to agree that this letter would probably generate a better
response from the company if it were written by the son rather than a

On another note, I think 3,000 is pretty reasonable for a pole, heavy
equipment, and staff to erect it.

I'd have your son write the letter himself although I think he's
probably out of luck. He caused the damage. He's responsible.


by ~Fiâi-la-âlea~ Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 3:10 PM

Was there a police report at all even later? The time to report it is
when it happened though, in case something like this happens and a
claim is made. Did this get reported to his vehicle insurance for a
claim or to total the vehicle? Was there any insurance?

If he was driving with no insurance, then he may lose his license to
report this incident too. Too many unanswered questions.


by gb Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 2:54 PM

What about your son's insurance coverage? Does he have any? All
accidents involving a vehicle that is disabled or property damage are
called reportable accidents and need to be reported. Many people do
not realize that if you do damage to poles, signs, guardrails, etc.,
you will have to pay for the damage that is done. Why should the
consumers have to pay for the pole and labor to fix it?


by Gizmo. Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 1:39 PM

My husband is a lineman at our local electric company. When he is on
call (about one week every two months) he frequently gets calls in the
middle of the night for similar situations in which someone runs into
a pole, usually knocking out power for a good part of the neighborhood
it's located in.

Since $3,000 seems like a lot of money for just a utility pole, maybe
part of the money is to pay the salaries of the workers who had to
replace the pole? I know that when my husband goes on call, he is
usually with a crew of 2 other people, and they get paid overtime
since they're on call. If the job takes a few hours to finish, the
money the company has to pay its workers adds up pretty fast.

by Richard S. Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 12:59 PM

You could try suing the deer for running into oncoming traffic and for
leaving the scene of an accident in order to recover some of the costs
for hitting the pole.


by Shadowboxxx Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 9:45 AM

Why isn't your son writing this letter?


He's consistent in avoiding his responsibilities. by Steve-Oh Wed February 6, 2008 @ 9:58 AM

William? Mother? (n/t) by Jeffrey Wed February 6, 2008 @ 10:14 AM

Oops, Father. N/T by Steve-Oh Wed February 6, 2008 @ 1:04 PM

And the umbilical cord by RedheadwGlasses Thu February 7, 2008 @ 12:24 PM

by RowdyRetailer Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 9:25 AM

Finanacial hardship does not excuse personal responsibility.

Sounds like your son should have gotten another job sooner, maybe


by Harleycat Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 8:33 AM

Why should they take a loss due to your son's accident? I'm sorry to
be harsh but many of us have been there and taken responsibility for
what happened. There was a loss of property that must be paid for.


by jc from charlevoix Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 7:25 AM

FYI, never ever swearve to avoid hitting a deer. You could go into the
path of an on coming car, or as you found out, hit any other number of
stationary objects. Take your foot off the gas and steer straight.

Also, your son left the scence and caused damage. He needs to tkae
responsibility for it.


Deer kill by T. C. Thu February 7, 2008 @ 12:20 AM

Dont swerve by jc from charlevoix Thu February 7, 2008 @ 8:46 AM

I can see by T. C. Fri February 8, 2008 @ 12:16 AM

dont need by jc from charlevoix Fri February 8, 2008 @ 10:54 AM

No because I by T. C. Sat February 9, 2008 @ 1:41 AM

by Gino Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 1:16 AM

I'm sorry to hear this happen, like the others, I do think he should
try to look into if the insurance will cover all or some of the

I understand it's your son, and no one wants to see someone they love
being burdened, but the facts are true, he damaged property and left
the scene of an accident. I doubt that the power company can
arbitrarily come up with some random figure.

The good news is that he's not injured (or worse). The truck and pole
are replaceable.


by donno Posted Wed February 6, 2008 @ 12:45 AM

Your son left the scene of an accident, an accident in which a
significant monetary amount of damage was caused. Yes, he should get
a ticket for that, assuming the state he lives in has a law similar to
the states I have lived in. I can't remember the dollar amount, but
it was something like over $400-500 of damage last time I knew.

Does he have comprehensive coverage? I never carry collision
insurance, even on new cars (the insurance company reps think I am
nuts). A deer collision is covered under comprehensive, but if there
was no collision with the deer he may have trouble proving a deer
caused he accident.

The bottom line is that he is responsible. Maybe the company will
agree there is a hardship, but if not I am afraid your son is liable
for the damage. The power company is probably not real impressed that
he drove away and didn't report this to the police. Those poles can't
take much of an impact without causing structural damage. By the time
the wires are transferred, the old pole is removed and the new one
installed, $3000 sounds about right.


cmp vs collision by Cinderelly Thu February 7, 2008 @ 3:36 PM

right you are by donno Sun February 10, 2008 @ 12:45 AM

I like being right lol by Cinderelly Mon February 11, 2008 @ 8:51 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Tue February 5, 2008 @ 10:14 PM


$3K seems steep, based on this website. You should get itemized
charges related to the replacement of the pole.


by The New and Improved Brenda Posted Tue February 5, 2008 @ 10:49 PM

How much does it cost to replace a utility pole?


It depends on the location but if it is done by the power company
usually around $ 5,000.00 - 10,000 because you are paying for 1 guy to
install it and 4 to watch. Seriously around $ 3,000.00 -5,000.00 would
be a good guess all depending on the area you live in and from what
distance the pole comes from.


Of course, that's from WikiAnswers and we all know how reliable
anything Wiki is LOL!

I also found one question on Yahoo answers where a guy asked how much
the pole would cost and someone who supposedly worked for an electric
company answered and said when he worked there they charged

$3,000 doesn't seem like that much to me just because it seems like a
lot of work. It probably isn't nearly as hard as it looks though.

Hopefully they will provide her with an itemized bill. I'd sure like
to know what the breakdown is!


by PaintedLady Posted Tue February 5, 2008 @ 11:25 PM

about 6 years ago in Colorado, a young man fell asleep at the wheel
and took out a pole in front of my place of employment (amazingly, he
was okay). Cost him about $4000, without the cost of the
transformer(?) he ruined at the same time, according to the work crew
(they were regular customers of mine). They have to shift around
scheduling, pay the work crew, bring in the heavy equipment and new
pole, raise the pole, and possibly re-string the wires. We had power
back in about 6 hours; I thought that was pretty good. I'm sure the
costs depend on the state/company, though.


by Jeffrey Posted Tue February 5, 2008 @ 10:00 PM

Does he have insurance?

If so, then he should contact his insurance company about covering the

As for your idea that he could work it off... I had the same idea as I
was reading your letter. They might not give him a job, but there
might be something he can do, for free, that'll work.

May I make another suggestion? Don't antagonize them with statements
like "David and Goliath." The facts (as you'd admitted) are
that he did hit their pole (even if it wasn't his fault). You're
asking a favor, so you should do it with humility, respect, and


Don't think he had insurance that by T. C. Thu February 7, 2008 @ 12:21 AM

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