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Accident involving box truck damages Beaumont neighborhood, resident wants to know who is paying for repairs

Photos of the aftermath showed toppled power lines, a hanging weather head and a crumbled car port.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont woman is wondering who will be paying for the damages to her property following an accident involving a box truck Thursday morning. 

It happened at the intersection of Fannin Street and Dixie Drive. A box truck took out three utility poles while driving in a Beaumont neighborhood after the top of the truck got caught on a low-hanging wire.

The entire incident was caught on camera. Photos of the aftermath showed toppled power lines, a hanging weather head and a crumbled carport.

The incident left some in the surrounding neighborhood without power for several hours.

Entergy crews began making repairs and employees with Spectrum assessed the damage Friday. The damage is intensive, leaving residents wondering who is going to pay for repairs. 

Carla Viator is a Beaumont resident who lives in the neighborhood where the accident took place. She has to pay for a new weather station and carport, and her fence needs to be fixed.

“The pole broke in two and was drug across my carport,” Viator said. “Now it's not safe for us to park in the carport. We are having to park on the street. It messed up my fence, broke some bricks and took out the weather station.”

Viator was at work when the incident took place and got text messages from neighbors saying she needed to come home.

Viator has been concerned about the hanging wires. Now, she is going to be out hundreds of dollars and is wondering who is responsible for the damage.

Beaumont Police said the low-hanging line belongs to AT&T. Police believe when it comes to who is supposed to pay for the repairs, things get complicated. 

"When the lines are hanging low of course utility companies have a responsibility to make sure that their lines are properly secured in the area so they won't get snagged by passing vehicles," Sergeant Tom Swope, with the Beaumont Police Department, said. "And of course, it's also the responsibility of the drivers of the vehicles to look for any hazards on the roads."

Viator said she struggled to get a hold of AT&T but was eventually able to file a claim. A representative told her it would be several days before anyone could come out.

"You cannot get ahold of them," Viator said. "I keep calling and going through the same loop because I'm not an AT&T customer. They won't even speak with me. I did finally after six hours of calling and bouncing all over the globe find AT&T's risk management."

12News has spoken with an AT&T representative. They said they are looking into the incident.

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