The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 25, 2013

Trucker should have used eyes, not technology

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT —  A trucker who apparently had more faith in his navigation device than his own eyeballs has made a big impression — literally — on a city park.

A semi-truck that made the wrong turn off Parrish Road early Thursday afternoon wound up deep in Malek Park, coming to a rest a few steps from the park's exercise trail at the west end of the big facility.

A police report was still being compiled Thursday night, but officers said the trucker was en route to General Aluminum about 1 p.m. to make a delivery when his global positioning satellite device directed him to make a turn into the park —- which sits on the opposite side of Parrish from the factory. The trucker continued to drive deeper into the park, traveling hundreds of feet, before coming to a halt at the small parking lot a few steps from the start of the exercise trail.

Realizing his mistake, the driver tried to back up the big rig, police said. The rear end of the trailer instead dug into the earth and became stuck, officers said.

The driver had already called for a tow truck when officers were dispatched to the scene. The truck was eventually pulled free some four hours later, police said.

Deep gouges were evident at the park, and truck tires came within inches of a fenced-in memorial to 9/11 victims, but it appeared the arboretum that graces the entrance to the trail escaped serious damage.

The arboretum is filled with flowering trees and shrubs, many planted in memory or honor of local loved ones. Malek Park is maintained by the city of Conneaut.

Information about the driver was not immediately available Thursday night, but he has a Pennsylvania address, police said. He was not immediately sited, officers said.