Chester residents worry over truck damage

CHESTER – Residents in one Chester neighborhood are worried that an oil truck that got off the beaten path in February has turned their street into a beaten path.

Three months after the truck got stuck on their steep, winding street, Alpine Way residents say they’re tired of looking at what the truck left behind – a damaged yard with deep ruts and a pothole that’s starting to look more like a sinkhole.

What’s more, they say the damage could soon be a serious impediment to motorists and emergency vehicles.

“The road is slipping away,” said Rosemary Mackall, who witnessed the Feb. 27 incident that happened on her property.

Mackall said she got a call from her daughter, Robin Webster, that day, telling her there was a truck stuck in her yard. Webster also lives on Alpine Way.

Mackall drove home to find a Lyden Oil Co. truck stuck on Alpine Way’s hairpin turn. Mackall could tell it had come up from Collins Memorial Drive, but she had no idea why, so she questioned the driver.

“I said, ‘Where are you headed?’ He said, ‘I’m going to Six’s (Recycling in East Liverpool).’ I said, ‘They’re on the other side of the river.'”

Mackall said the driver kept saying, “She told me to come this way. … I finally asked him, ‘Who told you to come this way?’ and he said, ‘The woman on the GPS.'”

A tow truck from Chaney’s Service Station was called to pull the truck free but to no avail, Mackall said. It took a second wrecker pulling it backwards to finally break it loose, she said.

“It was just a mess. This went on for four hours,” she said.

Since then, Mackall said she has been unable to get anyone to accept responsibility for, or repair, the damage. She contacted Lyden and spoke with someone who said the Youngstown-based company would take care of it, she said.

When nothing happened, she called back and was referred to the company’s insurance carrier in Toledo, Ohio, she said. Mackall then passed the information on to Chester Street Superintendent and City Councilman Steve Shuman.

Although the issue has been discussed at Chester City Council meetings, the city has not taken any action pending a determination by the insurance company, Shuman said.

“That’s an insurance job,” he said. “We’re waiting for the insurance company to get back with us before we do anything. We already have an estimate (from West Point Paving) of how much it will cost to have it fixed.”

Mayor Ken Morris said the job is too big for the city but that something needs to be done. An orange pylon from the Chester Street Department alerts motorists to the damaged area.

“There’s no reason for it to take this long,” Morris said. “I totally agree with Mrs. Mackall that something needs to be done. It’s terrible up there. … She has every right to be upset about it.”

Webster said she’s afraid, with continued deterioration of the road, that she soon won’t be able to get out of her driveway.

“It’s starting to look more like a sinkhole,” she said.

Both women said Waste Management refuse trucks have made the situation worse.

“Three months have gone by,” Mackall said, “and the road has deteriorated more and more.”

Lyden Vice President Paul Lyden could not be reached for comment.