A vehicle struck a utility pole located in front of Monday, causing a momentary power blackout in the school during student dismissal, officials said.
Superintendent Enid Golden said the vehicle involved was not a school-related vehicle and that no Howell students were injured in the crash. As of 4:15 p.m. there was no word on injuries of those involved though they were not believed to be life-threatening.
Aldrich School Principal Drew Smith said the accident happened during dismissal at around 2:35 p.m. while students were already on their buses. Smith said an officer from the Howell Police Department was nearby and able to respond quickly to the scene. "It was good to have him here," he said.
With all the commotion that comes with the end of the day Smith said he was unsure of what had happened at first. "We did hear a thump, but we didn't know what it was because it's pretty noisy as the buses pull out," he said. "The concern was that it may have been a school vehicle but it wasn't."
Smith said that while the students saw the downed pole he did not believe any of them had witnessed the crash.
As a result of the accident Smith said the power "flickered," but was not off for very long as the students made their way out of the building at the end of the day. After the accident the power was out again as crews worked to replace the broken pole and fix the downed wires.
The Aldrich principal gave credit to his staff for responding to the incident. "I am very happy to report that, once again, the staff and students of Aldrich School responded to this situation beautifully," Smith wrote in an email to parents. "Dismissal of the students continued in a very safe and orderly fashion."
The accident capped off a busy day at the building as earlier a malfunction in the fire alarm in the fourth and fifth grade hallway forced students and staff to be evacuated. Smith said at the time in an email home to parents that after the building was checked by the Howell Fire Department everyone was allowed back into the building after several minutes outside.
Once again Smith said everyone's cooperation helped to move them forward. "Upon returning to their classrooms, the students and staff resumed their normal schedule and instruction continued through the remainder of the day."
While utility crews were on the scene the Howell Police Department had blocked off Aldrich Road on one side of the building while the Jackson Police Department blocked the road near their border. The road was expected to remain closed for several hours.
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