Family was stuck in Carlton with live wires on van for 2 hours

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Provided photos – Several telephone poles fell down along Route 98 in Carlton after fierce winds hit around 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

CARLTON – It felt like a tornado hit on Tuesday evening for Matt and Sharon Sugar. They were driving back towards Albion after visiting Point Breeze with their two sons and one of their friends.

They were on Route 98 in Carlton when the wind picked up and the rain turned into a torrential downpour.

“We were driving and I couldn’t see because of wind and rain,” Mr. Sugar said. “I never experienced anything like that. We couldn’t see two feet in front of us. It was like a whiteout in June.”

He decided to pull over, about a quarter mile north of Ho-Jack’s. Then a row of telephone poles snapped. Six or seven fell with the Sugars between two of them. Some of the live wires landed on their van, a Chrysler Town and Country.

“It was very scary,” he said.

The Sugars, their two sons and a family friend were trapped in the vehicle for the next two hours. When National Grid was assured the power was cut, the wires were removed, including one on the passenger side mirror, not far from where Mrs. Sugar was sitting. Carlton firefighter Ed Cooper then helped Mr. Sugar navigate the van through the maze of debris.

Mr. Sugar said he is thankful he stopped where he did. If he was 20 feet ahead, a pole would have landed on the vehicle. Their van only had a scratch on it.

“The Lord was with us,” he said. “It could have been much more serious.”

The Sugars were joined in their van by sons Isaac, 5, and Eli, 12, and their friend Cody Wilson, 12.

“It’s a miracle,” Sugar said about their escape from the storm. “Thank God we’re here to tell about it.”