GALLIPOLIS — A Gallipolis woman’s car has been repaired due to receiving donations totaling over $1,700 after a light pole on Second Avenue reportedly fell on her vehicle in early August.
“I’m excited to have my car back and really grateful to everyone who helped me out,” said Hopkins. “I’m a student going to (University of Rio Grande) and I work for what I have and I shouldn’t have to drive around a busted car because of light pole. I just didn’t have the money to fix it.”
Pamela Hopkins approached Gallipolis City Commission in early August to ask that the city consider paying for the damage of her vehicle. City officials said they did not think they were in a position to pay for the vehicle’s damage due to legal immunity questions. The city also attempted to claim the vehicle’s damage under its insurance and the company reportedly said in a statement read by City Manager Gene Greene in a city meeting that “in reviewing the scenario I can’t see how the city was negligent as it pertains to the loss.”
Officials said they were hesitant to speak with Hopkins after they felt she had sought counsel with an attorney. Hopkins said she did not have an attorney but had spoken with a “secretary” about courses of action. Officials said they were not “unsympathetic” to Hopkins’ plight but that they must be careful with “citizens’ money” when they felt they were hearing conflicting stories of how the car was damaged.
“I had a light pole on Second Avenue where I live (300 block), where my car was parked, the pole had a big bunch of flowers on it and it had just gotten done being watered because I was out there earlier that morning,” said Pamela Hopkins,” and I proceeded on with my day, took a bath, and I got a knock on my door telling me there’s a pole on top of my car.”
Hopkins said she understood someone had been chaining a bike to the pole. City officials said they weren’t trying to argue the facts of the event. They said they had heard there was someone potentially pushing on the pole while trying to chain a bike to it or that someone had been watering flowers on the pole. Hopkins claimed she had a report from Gallipolis Police Department that said “the plate had rusted away and the bolt had come through” in regards to the pole. She claimed the pole she have been better maintained.
Hopkins said she inspected the vehicle as it had a cracked windshield, damaged hood and front. She took photos of the event and brought an individual who said they were a witness to seeing the pole on the car to the meeting. Hopkins claimed she tried to resolve the matter with City Manager Gene Greene without success.
Hopkins said she was told the city was going to refuse to pay for her car and that Greene had walked away from her because she said she had gotten legal advice from “a secretary.”
Greene claimed Hopkins had told him she talked to an attorney and walked away because he wasn’t going to stand on the street and have someone “shout” at him. Hopkins replied she wasn’t shouting but asking for insurance information.
An anonymous individual and Central Christian Church made the donation, said Hopkins, for the repair of her vehicle.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.