Saturday, December 20, 2014

Truck falls into water after Winchester road collapses

By Martha Shanahan Sentinel Staff

WINCHESTER — Part of a Winchester road collapsed Thursday, sending a septic truck into the brook below.

The driver escaped before the truck fell.

Andrew Lightfoot of Swanzey was driving a Septic Manager company truck east on Old Chesterfield Road when he was directed to drive around a crew doing construction work on the road, he said.

The town's highway department was working on removing a culvert at the time, Town Administrator Shelly Walker said.

"It needed to be replaced because it was an old culvert that ... they tried to unclog, and that wasn't going to happen so it needed to replaced," she said.

Lightfoot attempted to drive around the crew when the road started collapsing and his truck slid into the guardrail, he said.

He was able to get out of the vehicle before the road totally collapsed, sending the truck into the brook below.

A video of the incident from Septic Manager co-owner Ed Csenge of Sullivan shows the truck, a Dodge Ram, falling suddenly through the crumbling street.

"The road washed away right under him," Septic Manager co-owner Laurel Csenge said.

"Fortunately it was a big enough truck to span (the gap) so he could get out," she said. "If you had a little car it would have eaten him right up."

Lightfoot was on his way back from servicing the portable toilets at Pisgah State Park, but no effluence leaked out of the truck.

Workers from Porter's Diesel Service Inc. in Winchester helped make a platform to remove the truck from the brook, Laurel Csenge said.

The truck was not as badly damaged as Csenge expected, she said, but the engine may have sustained water damage.

Matthew Donachie, a resident of Old Winchester Road, said he has seen the highway department doing work on the culvert for several weeks after water had built up and blocked it this fall.

Donachie said he had noticed an irregularity in the road when he drove over the culvert Wednesday.

"The road dipped where it shouldn't dip," he said.

Town officials had not advised residents against driving over that part of the road, Donachie said.

Winchester Highway Superintendent Dale Gray could not be reached for comment today.

Old Chesterfield Road remained closed to through traffic this morning.

Martha Shanahan can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1434, or Follow her on Twitter @MShanahanKS.

hmmmm , more performance bonuses ??


Anonymous said...

Keene Sentinel "Winchester Highway Superintend Dale Gray could not be reached for comment"!

Of course not Gray couldn't be found because he was hiding under his bed. From several wash-outs on Watkins Road, Verry Brook Road, smashing his town truck up on a class 6 Road, towing the town grader when it can not be towed that cost the tax payers thousands, loading a stump to large and broke the truck body on Parker Street, the thief of the stolen safe, paving the town garage with stolen money from another dept. Now the town will have to pay for someone's truck.

this is is just some of the dames he has cost the tax payers we know about.

"Stupid is as stupid does"!

Anonymous said...

The wall of turbulent water went all the way to the Ashuelot River. Who knows how much damage was done beyond a truck!!!! It could have been another Alstead once that water got going. When is the town going to take action against our Road Agent??????? Why does he keep getting away with his actions?????

Anonymous said...

When enough voters show up at deliberative session to make a difference then and only then will it happen.

Make the highway superintend a elected position to force him into running for office. With Gray's past history he wouldn’t get elected to dog catcher. When Gray and his friends bankrupt this town then the people may react. We were hoping Gray’s past would catch up with him from Mt Herman School and beyond but it didn’t. Gray is nothing but what the blacks call “slick!

Wake Up Folks said...

The residents in the west hills, chesterfield road, place the blame on the road agent with an assist from the beavers. The BS story is, we don't have the money to stay on top of issues like this. Bet we could hire someone who could make things happen with a budget we can afford.

Don't blame it on the beavers said...

"Old culvert that they were trying to unclog"? I don't think it was beavers that put a phone pole into the culvert pipe - no tooth marks on the pole.

Anonymous said...

But the point is WHY is he not fired???? I heard he was ordered by the state not to do that type of release that causes so much damage. If everything he has done in his infamous list of crimes, defiance of laws and morality are true who is protecting him from being held accountable for his actions??? If we elected a Road agent rather than had REAL qualifications for the position we might get worse in this town.

Anonymous said...

"Winchester Highway Superintendent Dale Gray could not be reached for comment today. "

Did anyone check the VFW for him?

Anonymous said...

No VFW for Dale Gray, you must be thinking of someone else.

Anonymous said...

Not against electing a road agent, but I wouldn't want to get the same service that we get, or don't get, from the town clerk.

Anonymous said...

Heard that Dale told folks that saw what really happened not to talk to the Sentinel, etc. FIGURES, Also know some folks who hiked the area to see the swath of damage that went from the Old Chesterfield Road all the way to the Ashuelot. Was any property damaged?

Anonymous said...

Word is, Dale is trying to blame his incompetence on one of the new hires. Will it work, probably, its Winchester.

Anonymous said...

Heard that someone in the neighborhood of the culvert lost a bridge on their property when the torrent of water came down.

Safety first please said...

"One of the new hires"? Would that be the new hire that Dale sent into the culvert without proper safety equipment to try to get that phone pole out? Risked that guy's life. Good thing OSHA hasn't heard about it yet...or have they?

Anonymous said...

I sure as hell hope OSHA and DES and anyone BEYOND our BOS hear it all. Enough is enough already.

speaking of HWY said...

Bad weather forced the hwy dept to work on the MLK holiday, because its a town employee holiday the hwy employees should be getting the holiday pay and time and a half for working the day. If it had been good weather and they didn't have to work, would they be getting 10 hours holiday pay like I'm betting the people in the town hall get? Does anyone have the answer ?

Anonymous said...

Very curious to what's happening with the budget committee? Voting time is right around the corner and they BC is not giving us their minutes, what gives on that?
I did see on the SB minutes something about them asking for more money for their own budget, something about paying a member who takes the minutes, is this normal, I didn't think volunteer board members where paid. Either way, we just need to see the minutes.

Anonymous said...

The town hall gets more and more behind closed doors. There appears to be trouble in paradise. BOS meeting was not even held and minutes are not being posted. Apparently the wagons are circling as the posse may be coming HOPEFULLY especially to finally hold Gray accountable for his years of criminal activity and cover ups of his actions. We need a town hall that we can rely on, especially with this pipeline project looming

Dale Grey Sr. said...

I believe highway department was closed Tuesday to "make up" for actually having to do some work.

Jennifer GRAY McDaniels said...

What a bunch of bullshit! First of all, Dale Grey Sr, you spelled it wrong! Can't even spell right with the name right in front you a few dozen times?? Second, ANYONYMOUS, classic @ssholes right there. You have so much to say and obviously think you KNOW a thing or two, so share your identity and grow your @sses up instead of hiding and trying to stir up a bunch of crap which is what it is, probably just because you have a personal problem with him. Maybe you will find him at the VFW? That comment right there proves you are just running your mouth about complete assumptions as you wouldn't find him there! Those of you making these accusations have no idea what Dale is really like. He has worked his @ss off for the town for many years and as goes with any job where your name is in "the light", you get people who dislike you and decide to act like a bunch of children and stir up complete crap, without actually knowing what the hell they are talking about. Winchester gets it bad reputation because of people like you that just like to stir the crap up and think they could do things better when the fact of the matter is, let those experienced employees do their jobs, the jobs they know how to do and the jobs that you may not understand but should damn well keep your mouths shut about. I assure you, Gray is not who you portray him to be and your actions are nothing short of slander.....

Walter said...

Someone has their panties in a bunch tonight. Nice try dear but past history will prove you wrong time and time again. Incompetence and arrogance rule our highway dept. Known thieves, slackers and a lack of proper leadership best describes those so-called experienced men you defend. If they are so experienced and well versed in their duties then why does the town constantly sun work out that they can not do?