'Human error' cause of truck getting caught in Lanesborough power lines


PITTSFIELD -- Human error is being attributed to the snafu that snared a commercial dump truck lift in telephone cable lines along Route 8 near the Lanesborough town line, causing traffic delays for more than three hours Friday morning.

The Pittsfield Fire Department received a call around 9 a.m. about the incident, which occurred in the driveway of Unistress Corp. It is a heavily trafficked area which includes the Berkshire County Jail and House of Corrections and the Berkshire Mall.

The lift of the 16-wheel Peterbilt truck, owned by N. Della Inc. in Adams, was accidentally activated while the operator, Paul Jennings, was exiting the Unistress driveway. The raised lift snagged telephone cable lines that run across the driveway and along Route 8.

The driver was able to stop the truck before it tore through the lines, but left the front end of the truck precariously parked in the middle of the northbound lane, facing south. The snag caused the rear wheels on the passenger side of the truck to be lifted off the ground.

The truck remained in place for approximately 31 2 hours on Friday, as utility staff from Verizon and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. worked to figure out how to safely move the truck without damaging the high-tension telephone cable lines.

During that time, members of the Pittsfield Fire and Police departments remained there to monitor the scene and redirect traffic, which was reduced to one lane.

Norman Dellaghelfa Jr., owner of the truck company, said the incident was "human error." He said Jennings, the driver, would be disciplined.

According to Pittsfield Police Officer Shaun Osborne, who was on the scene, neither the truck, property or power lines sustained any major damage. He and other responders to the scene agreed the incident could have resulted in something much worse.


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