Light pole falls outside Coca-Cola Field, across Oak Street

Nov 6, 2015

City of Buffalo staff are investigating what specifically caused a light pole at Coca-Cola Field to tip over late Friday morning and fall across Oak Street, forcing police to shut that road down for a brief time.

Remarkably, no one was hurt. But the tall pole, which holds the lights that illuminate left field inside the downtown ballpark, also fell over the parking lot across the street, damaging a section of iron fence and smashing a parked car.

National Grid workers first worked to cut the power before crews sawed sections of the pole, then loaded them on to a truck to be carried away.

"These standards are only five years old. That's why we're going to check it out to see what occured here," said Steven Stepniak, Buffalo's commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Streets.

Winds were strong, with gusts nearing 30 miles per hour.

Stepniak added that the remaining light poles, which along with the downed one were inspected last year, will be checked for their own structural integrity.

"We're actually checking those now," said Stepniak to reporters in an early afternoon briefing on the scene. "We're doing some special testing. We'll actually do some x-rays on those lights and on those standards throughout the weekend. But at this point, we don't see any need for alarm."

Stepniak also told reporters that the city, which owns Coca-Cola Field, will be responsible for compensating the owner of the car damaged in the neighboring lot.