Home News Local news Overturned Concrete Truck Creates Traffic Nightmare

Overturned Concrete Truck Creates Traffic Nightmare


Jan. 11, 2007 – An overturned Centerline Concrete truck blocked the East End Road on St. John Thursday morning, forcing drivers to wait hours for it to clear or to get a lift from neighbors on the other side.
No one was hurt in the incident. "That's the most important thing," East End resident Jay Swartley said.
He said he left his truck on the downhill side of the congestion, but got a lift from a friend who was on the other side.
Part-time East End residents Virginia and Ward Westrick were heading for Cruz Bay to take their daughter, her boyfriend and their dog to Cruz Bay so they could catch the ferry on the first leg of their trip back to college in Virginia.
Virginia Westrick said that they had heard about the accident before they left home but decided to head out anyway. She said that when they got to the accident site, her husband walked around to the other side to see if they could find the trio a lift to Coral Bay so they could get a taxi.
She said a tourist gave them a lift, and the staff at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant called a taxi.
"The kindness of strangers makes the world a better place," Westrick said.
She was philosophical about the traffic tie-up, noting that in the Washington , D.C., area, where they live the rest of the time, an overturned truck on the beltway can delay thousands of drivers.
Centerline Concrete manager Doug DuPont said that the truck had stalled on the way up the hill. The driver was out of the truck when the brakes failed and the truck slid backward down the hill.
"As it slid down the road, it flipped on its side," DuPont said.
He said that a small amount of concrete flowed onto the road, but that Centerline Concrete crews cleaned it up immediately.
DuPont said the truck, which was carrying eight yards of concrete, was damaged.
He said the truck was moved partway off the road by Thursday afternoon, which allowed vehicles to pass. He said the truck should be gone by Saturday.
"We have a game plan," he said.
The truck accident hammered home the problems that come from increasing development at that end of the island. Residents have long complained about wear and tear on the roads and the spilled concrete problem.
"They dump concrete everywhere," East End resident Terry McKoy said.
He said that the weight of the concrete trucks creates holes in the road.
Flamboyant Realty Services Inc. will come before the Coastal Zone Management Commission Tuesday to ask for a permit for its 84-acre subdivision. Should Flamboyant get its permit, 31 houses will eventually be built.
"It's interesting that this happened right before the hearing," McKoy said.
He said that it will probably take 50 to 100 trips by concrete trucks to build the estate road proposed by the developer
The East End , which has only one main road, also has other homes under construction.
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