Stray 1,500-pound spool destroys Nebraska man’s pickup truck

'Hit-and-run spool'
A strange crash in southwest Omaha caused extensive damage to a man’s truck and a lot of head-scratching.
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 5:14 PM EDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT/Gray News) - A strange crash in southwest Omaha caused extensive damage to a man’s truck and a lot of head-scratching.

While leaving work last week, Jeff Smith was shocked to find his pickup was smashed -- the culprit sitting right there.

“Hit-and-run spool, really,” Smith said.

The wire spool does not belong to the Omaha Public Power District, but the utility company moved the 1,500-pound spool out of the way so Smith and Omaha police could look for identifying marks.

“There’s nothing left on it for identification,” Smith said.

The business area is relatively isolated. Inside work, Smith didn’t hear the crash of the spool into his 2012 Tacoma.

“It was immaculate, nothing wrong with it,” Smith remarked.

He suspects between noon and five p.m. that day, the spool rolled down the hill. It had been seen previously in the parking lot above.

“The slant of the hill and everything else, we’re just lucky it hit the truck and didn’t hit somebody,” he said.

Did pranksters roll the spool to the edge and over, or could it have fallen off a truck driving away?

Two days after the spool attack, the mystery got another chapter -- the spool disappeared.

“You’d need machinery and a couple of guys to move the thing, so where it came from and where it’s gone now really is a mystery,” said Rod Jensen, the landlord of the property.

A security camera recorded at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, a man in a dark pickup attached a strap to the spool before pulling it away.

Smith wonders if it was an innocent bystander picking up something they thought they could work with or was it someone trying to get the spool out of the area before any evidence could be found.

It’s not just about the cost to repair the damage, Smith said.

“Somebody needs to own up to it and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

OPPD and two private electrical contractor companies in the area said the spool was not theirs. The damage to Smith’s truck was estimated at $7,000.

Smith has insurance but must pay a deductible.

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