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OAKLAND -- A broken utility pole on Monday blocked traffic on Illinois Route 133 in Oakland for about five hours, during which time a semitrailer crash occurred west of town.

Chief Anthony Bennett of the Oakland Fire Protection District said firefighters were dispatched at approximately 11:35 a.m. in response to the top section of a broken utility pole hanging from its wires at Route 133 and Ashmore Road, a heavily traveled intersection in Oakland. He said the pole appeared to have been struck by a semitrailer, which left the scene.

Bennett said the top section of the utility pole was in danger of falling onto the roadway, so firefighters blocked the intersection and called Ameren Illinois crews to the scene. He said the firefighters diverted traffic around the intersection while utility crews worked on replacing the pole.

While the intersection was closed, Oakland firefighters and an ambulance crew responded shortly after 1:30 p.m. to a semitrailer running off of Route 133 west of town. The Coles County Sheriff's Office , which handled the crash report, reported that this single vehicle collision occurred at County Road 2215E in East Oakland Township.

According to the sheriff's office press release, the truck and its empty grain trailer left the roadway to the south and struck several trees before coming to a stop 615 feet east of the starting point of this accident.

The truck driver, Charles P Rhoden, 57, of Kansas, told deputies that wind was a factor in the crash. The sheriff's office reported that no citation was issued, and that the truck and trailer were considered a total loss. The driver was taken to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center via Oakland ambulance for treatment of injuries.

Bennett said Ashmore Fire Protection District firefighters were called in to assist with traffic control at Route 133 and Ashmore Road during this busy time period for emergency responders on Monday in Oakland. He said the intersection was reopened to traffic at 4:48 p.m.

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