Tractor-trailer driver mistakes lawn for parking lot, gets stuck

OLEAN — A commercial tractor-trailer stuck in dirt and snow stretched across and blocked the southbound lane of Route 16 for approximately two hours Monday night.

The driver pulled into a lawn next to the now-closed Chuck Wagon restaurant after mistaking it for a parking lot, said Hinsdale Fire Chief Kelly Karst, whose department responded to the scene a little after 7 p.m. to control traffic. “Truck drivers are only allowed to drive for so many hours and he was up on hours so he was looking for a parking spot,” Karst said. “The truck was loaded and he drove it into some grass instead of pavement and so the truck sank in the dirt. When he tried to back up the trailer, he ended up in the middle of the road.”

Karst believes New York State Police and the Olean Police Department had been on scene for about a half hour before the Hinsdale Volunteer Fire Department received a call at 7 p.m. to respond. A wrecker from J&R Auto was able to pull the tractor-trailer out of the lawn at approximately 8:30 p.m., Karst said.

There were no injuries or damage to the vehicle, he added. Route 16 traffic was not completely blocked off, as firefighters had vehicles take turns using the northbound lane.

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