Truck trailer tips over in Old Town
A trailer on a dump truck tipped over Wednesday morning as it made a hairpin turn at a tight intersection in upper Old Town, spilling a load the trailer was carrying onto the road, the Park City Police Department said.
The police said the dump truck was descending King Road when the trailer tipped over near the Ridge Avenue intersection. The location is in a part of Old Town where streets are steep and narrow, and there are numerous places where turning is difficult for trucks.
Rod Ludlow, a Park City police officer who was at the scene, said the dump truck’s load shifted, causing the trailer to tip over. The accident occurred at about 8 a.m. The truck driver did not immediately report the accident, the authorities said. Ludlow said he drove by the site and saw a contractor crew cleaning up the mess with heavy equipment. The dump truck and trailer had already been moved, he said.
The police did not ticket the driver of the dump truck, and Ludlow said the department is not considering charges.
The dump truck crew was helping remodel a house at 60 Sampson Ave.
Ron Ivie, City Hall’s chief building official, who is investigating, said the driver indicated the hydraulic system that operates the dumping mechanism might have malfunctioned. The machinery used to clean up slightly damaged the road, Ivie said.
The dump truck dumps its payload from the side, not the back as is the case with traditional dump trucks. Ivie said the truck is "relatively new" and would have been inspected sometime within the last year.
Gordon Duffin, who owns the contracting company whose dump truck it is, said the truck was probably about half full when the load spilled. The dump truck was not damaged, he said.
Duffin said the firm moved the truck out of the way and cleaned up the dumped load "as fast as possible." He said the company also put down protective measures to stop the material from the dump truck from entering the sewer system.
He said he was told Ludlow happened upon the accident quickly after it happened, which is the reason the driver did not report the accident. Duffin called the case an "unfortunate incident."
The material in the dump truck was not contaminated.
There was brief concern that the dump truck was part of a nearby operation removing contaminated soils from a site at the top of King Road known as the Alice Lode, where developers want to build nine houses. One of the prospective Alice Lode developers, who was at the scene, said the dump truck was not one of his, however.
People in Old Town have long been leery of a terrible accident involving dump trucks or other trucks developers use. Many of the neighborhood’s streets are narrow and steep, making it challenging for dump truck drivers to navigate. The neighbors also fear brakes will fail on a dump truck, causing a runaway truck on a steep road. Many houses in Old Town sit steps from the roadway.
Ludlow said City Hall put tighter restrictions on the remodeling crews after the accident, including that they must use smaller trucks and post flaggers.
Ivie, the chief building official for City Hall since 1980, suspects the crew would not have informed the authorities had Ludlow not happened upon the scene. He said drivers are supposed to remain at the scene of accidents. Ivie estimates the accident caused as much as $5,000 in damage to the road.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.