Route 61 in Shamokin closed for hours after truck hits pole
SHAMOKIN - A box truck that slid into and sheared a utility pole near the Sunbury Street Playground closed the busy roadway for hours during Monday's snowstorm.
No one was hurt in the crash.
Motorists in both directions sought their own detours immediately after the accident, cutting through snowy side streets to continue their travels. Traffic eventually ground to a halt for northbound motorists, and vehicles were stopped between the crash scene and the traffic light at Pizza Hut.
Fire police arrived and helped regulate the flow of traffic after Sunbury Street was closed between Mount Carmel Street and Shamokin Street.
Slid in snow
Snow was falling and accumulating quickly shortly before 11 a.m. at the time of the crash. Matt Becker, 35, of Ashland, was driving north into the city when he lost control of the box truck. It slid up and over a sidewalk after he attempted to steer it through a slight left bend in the northbound lane where Route 61 becomes Sunbury Street.
It crashed into the pole head-on, the passenger side taking the brunt of the collision, before coming to a near immediate stop on impact. The snapped pole was dangling from utility wires and leaning on the truck's cargo area, the bottom half resting just above the cab and jutting over the front end.
Becker was driving for his employer, Schuylkill Distributors, Frackville. He said he wasn't hurt.
Shamokin Patrolman Raymond Siko II and Police Chief Edward Griffiths responded, as did personnel from Shamokin Rescue Squad, Friendship Fire Company and Shamokin Fire Police.
Not the first
Help wasn't too far away. There had already been three minor crashes along Sunbury Street within an hour - one of which occurred in the same area - and police were assisting another motorist just down the street when Becker's truck crashed.
Emergency responders were cautious at the scene since one wire was draped on the ground across Sunbury Street.
Traffic was diverted for more than 2 1/2 hours, reopening about 2:35 p.m. after Verizon Wireless and PPL Electric employees arrived and worked to allow the truck to be removed from beneath the pole.
A PennDOT truck got a police escort through traffic in order to plow the area as it had been untouched throughout the ordeal.