Rusty Light Pole Nearly Crushes Driver

Driver avoids falling pole, but slams into bureaucracy

By Craig Melvin
|  Thursday, May 13, 2010  |  Updated 6:58 PM EDT
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Driver Encounters Unforeseen Danger in DC

Duane Miller

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Utility Pole Crashes Onto Cars on I-395

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Duane Miller was inching along the parking lot that Interstate 395 becomes every afternoon when a rusty light pole fell on his minivan and came remarkably close to crushing him.

He recalls looking at the Capitol one minute and crawling out of his back door the next.

"I didn't see it, so when I first turned back, there was this pole in front of my face and the windshield had popped in," Miller said.

Worried about the wires hanging from the bottom of the pole, he quickly got out  and "walked over the pole ... to see where it broke, and it was so obviously all rusty."

Concerned passers-by made quite the impression on the guy who comes to town frequently on business, but his thankfulness for D.C. hospitality is now matched by his newfound disdain for District government.  Miller avoided a rusty, falling light pole Tuesday afternoon only to slam right into a wall of bureaucracy when he called to report what happened.

"They told me it would be 30 days and maybe within a few days they'd know who owned the poles," Miller said, exasperated. "They didn't know who owned the poles."

NBC4 investigated and found that it's more than likely that D.C. DOT owns those poles and nearly all the other ones in the District.  They told us, "we're aware of what happened.  We are investigating."

Miller said he wants DDOT (or whoever owns the rusty things) to inspect other poles in the area.

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