Recalled Light Poles Installed in the Basin

By Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

A dangerous problem has come to light that could put some West Texas kids and athletes in harm's way.

It all has to do with hundreds of recalled light poles.

Some of them have already come crashing down.

Even more alarming, the company that makes those poles sold some of them to cities and schools right here in the Basin.

The Whitco Company of Fort Worth is now out of business but their light poles are still causing plenty of headaches.

They've been installed all over the United States and Puerto Rico.

According to a list, the faulty Whitco lights were put in at Beal Park back in 2000.

More poles have been installed across West Texas.

11 light poles have already collapsed near football fields, school gymnasiums and onto outdoor bleachers, causing major property damage.

Luckily, no injuries have been reported but some of these incidents were near misses as people were leaving the area moments before the poles fell.

The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission announced a recall of the poles earlier this week after the latest incident in the North Texas town of Argyle.

NewsWest 9 did some digging and found that aside from Beal Park, Whitco light poles can be found at the baseball field at Crane ISD, the Pecos School District and Kokernot Field at Sul Ross State in Alpine, among other West Texas spots.

School officials in Pecos tell NewsWest 9, they are addressing the situation.

Sul Ross was completely unaware of the recall, but officials say they are going to investigate immediately after NewsWest 9 contacted them on Thursday.

City of Midland officials were not available for comment.

According to our Lubbock affiliate station KCBD, Whitco poles were installed at Lamesa High School. KCBD contacted the school on Wednesday and they too had no idea about the recall.

This list doesn't automatically mean the poles are bad.

The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission is saying the poles need to be inspected by an engineer to find out if they are in danger of cracking.
An eyeball test is not good enough to make sure these light poles are safe.

We'll continue to follow this story and bring you the latest information.