Bus accident badly damages section of Old Town transit center | ParkRecord.com

Bus accident badly damages section of Old Town transit center

Vehicle collided with structure after sliding in icy, snowy conditions

A bus accident at the Old Town transit center on Friday evening left damage that remained visible on Monday. A crew shored up the damaged section. City Hall does not anticipate a collapse.

A City Hall bus crashed at the Old Town transit center on Friday evening, Park City Transit said, leaving a section of the facility badly damaged in a rare instance of a municipal bus causing such visible wreckage at an accident scene.

Destry Pollard, the transit operations team leader, said the bus slid in icy, snowy conditions as it was entering the transit center. The bus, which was driving the Prospector Express route, collided with the transit center structure itself on the east side of the Swede Alley facility.

The damage remained apparent through the beginning of the workweek. A sign for the Deer Valley route was left hanging, wooden beams were knocked out of place and there appeared to be damage between the beams and the roof. Wooden boards had been put up to temporarily reinforce the damaged structure. Traffic barricades, pedestrian barricades and yellow emergency tape cordoned off the damaged section. There did not seem to be major interruptions to the overall operations of the facility, however.

Pollard said there were a few people on the bus at the time of the accident. No injuries were reported, he said.

The bus sustained "pretty extensive" damage, according to Pollard. Park City Transit was able to drive the bus to the yard outside the Public Works Building on Iron Horse Drive. Mechanics are expected to study the damage this week. Pollard said the bus is expected to be out of service for an extended period. Cost estimates of the damage to the transit center and the bus were not immediately available.

The driver was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after an accident. Pollard said the Utah Highway Patrol was summoned to investigate the accident since it could be seen as a conflict of interest if the Park City Police Department conducted an investigation into an incident involving a City Hall vehicle.

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Kurt Simister, the Park City fire marshal and a Park City Building Department official who investigated the damage, said a crew shored up the section of the transit center by 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The bus was then moved. Simister said a concrete support column was destroyed and needs to be replaced. The foundation work was also damaged, he said.

Simister said a structural engineer will evaluate the building and then a contractor will be hired to make the repairs.

"It's structurally safe. It's damaged, but it is shored, so the building's not going to come down," he said.

The accident at the transit center occurred during a challenging stretch of weather for drivers in the Park City area. There have been numerous slide-off accidents reported to the Police Department as some of the first heavy snows of the season arrived.

It also occurred close to the start of what is traditionally one of the busiest stretches of the year, starting with the holidays and extending to the Sundance Film Festival in January. The transit center anchors the Park City bus routes and draws big crowds of riders during Christmas week and then again during Sundance.