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Light pole falls on vehicle downtown

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer
A city light pole fell on a parked vehicle Monday morning, crushing the back window, after police said a second vehicle hit the pole, located in front of Mainstreet Cafe & Grille in Lincolnton.
Restaurant employees said they were not surprised by the incident, which occurred sometime after 11 a.m. A vehicle had pulled into the restaurant parking lot to pick up food, and according to waitress Tonda Fowler, parked in a no parking zone, leaving little room for other vehicles to pass by.
The waitress, who blamed the city for the entire incident, said it’s not the first time the restaurant has dealt with people parking in the no parking zone, which currently isn’t marked.
Owner Ginger Weaver told the Times-News that after Monday’s incident, marking off a section of the lot will be her top priority.
“We’re trying to get it marked now,” Weaver said.
Lincolnton Police and Lincolnton Fire Chief Mitch Burgin were on scene surveying the damage, along with the owner of the smashed vehicle, Jan Price, who parks in the same spot near the light pole everyday, she said,
She, too, wasn’t shocked by the incident, and over the last few weeks, had grown concerned the loose light pole would eventually fall. Price even reported the “swaying” pole to the city last month during an excessively windy day.
“I said, ‘It’s going to fall on my vehicle one day,'” she said.
Restaurant employee Allyson Levine agreed with Price. “We always thought the wind would knock it down one day,” she said.
City workers, who did answer complaints and tightened the pole a couple weeks ago, said it wasn’t the first time that particular pole has fallen; it crashed to the ground two years ago during a similar incident, in which a vehicle struck it.
They were reluctant to blame the wind, noting that no matter how sturdy the pole may be, it’s going to fall if a vehicle hits it.
However, witnesses told the Times-News that the vehicle striking the pole on Monday barely tapped it.
Officers said they did not issue tickets to any of the drivers from Monday’s incident.

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