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Snow plow overturns after brakes fail

YOUNGSTOWN — The brakes on a 21-year-old city snow-plow truck failed, resulting in it overturning after the driver made a turn to avoid plowing into traffic, a city official said.

The driver lost control of the plow at 1:23 p.m. Thursday on the city’s North Side when the brakes overheated and stopped working, said Kevin Flinn, the city’s buildings and grounds commissioner.

The driver was coming down Burlington Street at the time and rather than continue onto U.S. Route 422 — and into traffic — he made a sharp right turn onto Robinwood Place, Flinn said. That caused the load of rock salt to shift and for the truck to flip onto its side, he said.

The rock salt spilled all over Robinwood when the truck went over.

The driver was treated for injuries at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

“He was shook up,” Flinn said, as he was leaving the hospital after checking on the driver.

The street department was able to get the plow upright and also removed the rock salt from the road, Flinn said.

The front window had to be removed to get the driver out of the truck, he said.

The extent of the damage to the vehicle isn’t known, Flinn said.

The street department’s snow truck fleet is 12 to 21 years old — except for one it obtained two months ago — and has had numerous mechanical problems, largely because of its age.

The normal life expectancy for the vehicles is eight to 10 years, Flinn said.

The city ordered two snow-plow trucks in October 2018, with Concord Road Equipment Manufacturing Inc. of Painesville hired to put the plow, dump bed and salt spinner on them. But the parts have been on back order this entire time so the vehicles haven’t been used.

The trucks could be ready later this month, Flinn said.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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