Electric power to more than 200 customers was cut when a semi’s trailer hit a power pole on Haines Avenue before daybreak, said Waycross Police Capt. Tommy Cox.
The truck driver, James McMillan, 52, of Waycross, was not injured in the collision with the pole, said Cox.
James Willis, a local spokesman for Georgia Power, said 225 customers were without electricity for a short while and several traffic lights were rendered inoperable between the edge of downtown and the fairgrounds. Waycross police officers were posted at signal-controlled intersections to direct traffic until the lights could be made operable.
A dysfunctional traffic light at Plant Avenue and Morningside/Pinehurst this morning was not directly related to the traffic accident, Willis reckoned. But city police figure there was a connection.
The  Plant Avenue traffic light was still out at 9 a.m. and Cox said police were still there directing traffic. Department of Transportation employees from Jesup were en route to make a repair, he said.
“I believe that when the power went off, it fried the board and caused the light on Plant to go out,” said Cox. “It was somehow related … it happened at the same time.”
Electric service to the 225 clients was restored within about one hour’s time.
“We actually got power switched back on rather quickly,” said Willis. “It was not out long at all.”
Cox said mechanical failure caused the traffic accident.
He said McMillan was driving a 2010 Mack tractor trailer north on Haines Avenue, coming off the overpass, when the truck stalled.
“While he tried to maintain and turn into the old box factory parking lot, the back of the trailer clipped the power pole,” Cox said.
A transformer atop the pole exploded and the sparks and arcs were visible for miles.
A Ware County High School faculty member who lives out Ga. 122  (near the Mixon Blueberry Farm) said he was driving to school around 6 a.m. when he saw the explosion in the distance.
“I noticed a flash on the horizon in the direction of Waycross and it was followed by a secondary flash a few seconds later. I said to myself, ‘What was THAT!?’ When I got to Jerry J’s, the EMTs and firetrucks were rolling with sirens,” the teacher said.
Officer Michael Tanner investigated the accident, which occurred just 2 minutes before 6 a.m.
McMillan was charged with making an improper turn, Cox said.