A city plow is hauled out of the back yard of a home at 51 Rand St.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A city plow-driver narrowly escaped serious injury when his truck flipped over an embankment on Rand Street on Saturday.
Commissioner of Public Services Timothy Lescarbeau said Glenn Roberts was working on the steep incline just after 1:30 p.m. when his truck went over.
Roberts was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital and treated and released later that afternoon. Lescarbeau said Roberts was "banged up."
The amount of damage to the truck was unknown but Lescarbeau said it could be total loss.
"It's just unfortunate. I'm just happy Glenn is doing well and escaped serious injury here," said Mayor Richard Alcombright at the scene. "We can always buy a truck but we can't replace a person.
"People think plowing snow is just plowing snow ... all of our public safety and public services folks take risks every time they go out the door."
A man clearing ice on the upper part of Rand saw the truck go over as it was backing up the incline while sanding (a standard practice), and aided Roberts in getting out of the truck.
The truck came to rest upside-down in the back yard of 51 Rand. The plow caught on the cement-block retaining wall and workers at the scene believed that and the sander in the dump body prevented vehicle from rolling into the house.
Emergency services responded to the call at 1:41 p.m. The upper section of Rand, a sharp S-curve that dead-ends, was closed at as heavy-duty two trucks extricated the vehicle. North Adams Ambulance Service, police, firefighters and a Department of Public Works crew responded.
National Grid had to be called in when a tree branch took down the electric wires as workers attempted to clear the area to get to the vehicle. The last house on the street remained without power into the evening while the vehicle was recovered.
It took around three hours for Joseph Dean of Dean's Quality Auto and another specialized hauler from the Erving area to painstakingly pull the truck back up the incline.
The scene wasn't completely cleared until nearly 9 p.m.
The accident came three days into a major snow event that has dumped nearly 2 feet of snow across parts of the Berkshires. Highway crews have been working nearly continuously and, in fact, the backup truck at the scene had to leave to address slick roads as the temperature began to drop.
Alcombright was upset with derogatory comments he'd seen on Facebook about the accident.
"We're a city of hills and we've got a lot of treacherous hills here. ... These guys earn every single penny we pay them."
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