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Driver recounts being trapped in truck under powerlines toppled during Maryland storm

Driver recounts being trapped in truck under powerlines toppled during Maryland storm
Driver recounts being trapped in truck under powerlines toppled during Maryland storm 03:03

BALTIMORE - The cleanup continues in Westminster after dozens of power lines fell during powerful storms Monday evening, trapping people inside 34 vehicles along Route 140.

Jeffrey Campbell survived more than five tense hours inside his pickup truck. 

"It's my first truck and Mother Nature tried to take it away. As Chevy says in their song, it was like a rock."

He said the wind was causing the rain to move sideways and the poles fell in what seemed like an instant. 

He first called his wife. "It makes you think about your life in that moment. I called my wife and said, 'I just want you to know I love you.'"


She calmed him from panicking.

"I'm like 'Oh crap, this is not good.' And my wife said stop watching the Marvel videos and thinking that every time poles fall down there's going to be electrical shocks everywhere, but that's what you think of, and I'm waiting for big flares and sparks of lighting. None of that happened," Campbell told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren Tuesday. 

He took pictures from inside his pickup. 


Campbell says the voltage did something strange to his truck's temperature display causing it to read negative 40 degrees, so he was not getting out until it was safe. 

"I'm not touching anything metal. The wire was literally about an inch away from my window," Campbell said.

He praised first responders for keeping everyone calm and stressed that he was grateful to them. 

"I think this is unprecedented. I don't think anybody has ever had two long blocks of poles fall down. For what they did in the time that they did it—and the fact that nobody was injured—kudos to them," Campbell said.

He remembered the joy he felt when he could finally get out. 

"I was like, 'I'm not touching that wire.' It was just good to have my feet on solid ground. It was just one of those epic moments. You could hear the symphony orchestra going off in the background," he said as he sang a crescendo. 

Governor Wes Moore credited "God's grace" and the "hard work" of first responders on the scene.

As of Tuesday evening, Campbell's Chevy Silverado remained on the highway, frozen in time with the rest of the vehicles. 

Crews are working to get things back to normal, but it could be days before that happens. State police have his keys and are hopeful they will have everyone's vehicles ready for pickup within two to three days. 


"The next time I get one of those weather warnings, I'm out," Campbell said. "It's one of those days where you needed everything to go right. It went right for the wrong situation."

BGE expects 80 percent of customers to have their power restored by Monday evening.


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