CENTER TWP — For the second time in a few weeks, the traffic signal at Route 8 and Mercer Road was taken out by a vehicle accident.
Barbara Kubala, a clerk at the Red Apple gas station at the intersection, was working outside around the corner of the building a little after 10 a.m. on Wednesday when she heard a loud bang, which she said was a pickup truck hauling old shingles in a utility trailer smashing into a telephone pole at the intersection.
“Then a heard three pops,” Kubala said. “It sounded like gunshots.”
She came around the corner to take a peek and saw the pickup truck had snapped off the utility pole and one set of traffic signals were lying in the middle of the intersection.
She instinctively ran across Route 8 to check on the driver, who, along with his teenage son, were uninjured.
Kubala directed traffic coming south on Route 8 west onto the short end of Mercer Road, and another man at the bottom of the hill on Mercer Road directed traffic into the Crossfire Church parking lot so they would avoid the intersection.
Police arrived about 15 minutes later, Kubala said.
The Red Apple did not suffer a power outage in the event, but Mazzanti's Beans and Creams ice cream and coffee stand were without electricity from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Manager Ryan Mazzanti said thanks to the ice cream stand's industrial freezers, no inventory was lost.
Flaggers rerouted traffic around a 500-foot closed portion of Route 8 at the intersection.
Multiple West Penn Power bucket trucks worked feverishly in the 90-degree weather to repair the pole and restring electric wires, and continued their work even after power was restored.
A full story will appear in the Butler Eagle.