As to this genius in the article. He had a 50/50 chance. He could have shot down the source side of the span of conductor thus de-energizing the downed conductor. Dang... 50/50.
As an after thought... I wonder why the system protection didn't operate during the ground fault. No blown fuse, no recloser operation. Must be an area with high earth impedance. Just bad luck... with an unhealthy mix of stupid