Driver crashes after mistaking Main Street walkway for road | ParkRecord.com

Driver crashes after mistaking Main Street walkway for road

Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

A car crashed into a bench made of stone and concrete along a heavily used walkway connecting Main Street and Swede Alley on Sunday night, the Park City Police Department said, describing an unusual case in which the driver mistook the walkway for a street.

Extensive damage remained visible along the Swede Alley side of the walkway on Monday morning. Other barriers were also damaged. The walkway remained open, however.

Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said a 58-year-old woman who lives in the Snyderville Basin was driving a 2013 vehicle from the Chrysler 300 line northbound on Swede Alley at approximately 8:50 p.m.

The driver attempted to make a left turn toward Main Street where the walkway is located, Kirk said. He said the vehicle hit the bench or other barriers once she turned off Swede Alley. She also hit a metal post, he said. The woman was not injured. Kirk said she called 911 herself. Nobody else was inside the vehicle, he said. The vehicle suffered damage to the front passenger side.

A police officer who responded arrested the woman on a drunken driving charge, according to Kirk.

The mistake created a "very dangerous situation," Kirk said. He said the Police Department was not aware of any pedestrians who were in danger. They could have suffered serious injuries had they been hit, he said.

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The damage was clearly seen on Monday morning. The seat of a bench, made of concrete slabs, was knocked off its stone mooring. Two slabs of concrete were strewn through the accident scene. One of the slabs came to rest in a planted area. The stonework also suffered damage.

Craig Sanchez, a City Hall community engagement liaison involved in Main Street projects, said the vehicle moved the concrete bench slabs up to 10 feet from the bench. He said the concrete slabs, measuring 18 inches wide and four feet long each, weigh between 200 and 300 pounds each.

Sanchez said it appears crews will need to repair the stonework and install new concrete slabs. He said City Hall wants to finish the repairs before mid-December.

The walkway offers a direct route from the Old Town transit center to Main Street, making it one of the more important links between Swede Alley and Main Street. City Hall has made extensive improvements to the walkway, including recently installing lights in the pavement along the route. The lights, which have the capability of shining in blue, yellow, green and red, are meant to guide people between the transit center and Main Street via the walkway.

The walkway is probably best known for a bronze sculpture of a bear seated on a bench on the Main Street side. The sculpture was not damaged in the crash.