Cloverland Electric Lineman Assists Rescue Efforts in Newberry Automobile Crash

DAFTER, Mich. (November 19, 2021) – Cloverland Electric Cooperative linemen are more than just cooperative employees, they are neighbors, friends and family. Cooperative linemen are there in the storm when the lights go out, but they are also willing to lend a hand to a neighbor in need.

Newberry Line Foreman, Phil Den Boer

Cloverland Newberry line foreman, Phil Den Boer was en-route to meet with a contractor on November 19, 2021. Den Boer was prepared for the normal commute down the rural Newberry, Michigan roads but instead, heroically assisted in a roadside incident. Slippery road conditions due to overnight snow and wind caused a driver on H 40 near Hiawatha Forest to run off the road.

Den Boer saw the car flipped over and stopped his truck to assist. A man was standing on the road, disoriented and unsure of his location, but in contact with 9-1-1. As Den Boer assessed the situation, he realized a woman was inside the over-turned vehicle, yet the car door was stuck and the automobile was filling with water from the ditch.

“I made sure 9-1-1 was contacted and did my best to calm the woman in the vehicle,” Den Boer states. “Once help arrived, we were able to work together to free the woman from the vehicle.”

A local firefighter arrived on scene and three other men stopped to assist. Using a claw hook, the five men were able to pry the car door open so the woman could escape the vehicle. Both passengers in the automobile accident were assisted by first responders after the rescue.

“I am just glad everyone is okay.” Den Boer states.

“Cloverland employees have a heart for their community, as evidenced through Phil Den Boer’s heroic actions this morning,” Cloverland’s President and CEO, Mike Heise states. “We are proud of Phil’s quick thinking and are thankful the driver is safe.”

Cloverland cautions members to always call 9-1-1 before aiding in a roadside incident. For winter weather safety tips visit Cloverland’s safety center at

Cloverland Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned utility located in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. With over 4,000 miles of line and 43,000 meters, Cloverland serves 34,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft and Delta counties.

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Abby Bell, communications specialist
906-440-0084 /