STEPHENVILLE Bob Byrnes, chairman of the Stephenville Downtown Business Association, is at a loss to understand why a transport truck driver damaged a tree on Main Street on Thursday night.
It is one of just three remaining trees on Main Street that were planted through a program in the early 1970s under Jean Fowlow, mayor of the town at the time. The maple tree is located directly in front of Byrnes’ shoe store.
Police got the report of the accident at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday night and because a section of the tree was knocked down in the middle of the road, traffic was tied up for about 45 minutes until the debris was removed.
Byrnes said the driver of the tractor-trailer, out of Edmundston, N.B., backed into the tree when the vehicle shouldn’t have even been on Main Street in the first place.
He said the driver had freight for a store across the street, which wasn’t open at the time and which could have been accessed from Prince Rupert Drive, a parallel street to Main Street that large trucks are supposed to be using anyway.
Dick Brake, an employee of the Department of Forestry, was down to look at the tree on Friday morning and said the remaining portion might possibly be saved if it was bolted back together, a job employees of the town carried out later in the morning.
Byrnes said another problem often experienced is fuel trucks using Main Street when they should be using Prince Rupert Drive, a wider thoroughfare with less traffic.
“It was a tree this time but it may be a person who gets hurt the next time,” he said.
The driver of the transport was issued a summary offense for backing his vehicle while not safe to do so.