Plow driver commended for saving man's life

Union Township Road Crew Member Carl Weikel was honored by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 17 for his heroic efforts while plowing township roads during the snowstorm on Thursday, Feb. 13.

In the early morning hours of that day, Weikel was plowing Mullen Hollow Road when he spotted a truck that appeared to be abandoned in the snow.

Weikel took the time to stop his truck and investigate, instead of assuming abandonment.

Board Chairman Donald E. Basile said what Weikel found was “an older gentleman in distress.”

Weikel proceeded to call the police, call for an ambulance, and also called for his fellow road crew members to assist him in getting the man’s truck out of the snow.

All four road crew members -- Weikel, Kenneth Geiger, George Steck, Jr., and Scott Remolde -- also assisted with the man when the ambulance arrived.

“Because of the efforts of Carl and the rest of the road crew, I hope the man is resting in Shannondell, where he was living,” said Basile. “For that, I think he saved a man’s life -- and I commend Carl, Ken, George, and Scott. I’m sure he’s very glad you were where you were. Fortunately Carl was in the right place at the right time.”

“They didn’t even want to come tonight,” said Supervisor Nelson L. Ott, Jr., adding, “they don’t think they’ve done anything extraordinary, but they saved this man’s life. I commend you for your service.”

The board gave written commendations to each man, which expressed their gratitude for the job they do everyday as well as their heroic efforts, and also invited them to a future dinner in their honor.

Board members began discussing how to write and enforce an ordinance that would make it illegal to park vehicles on some streets in the township during a snowstorm -- which hinders future snowplowing.

Basile said two white cars were recently parked on the streets -- nearly invisible in the snow -- and made plowing curb to curb impossible.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Ott, “and most are in the residential areas -- Washington, Union, Fourth, and Queen streets, and in the Wood Glen, Maple Springs, and Gramercy Gardens developments.”

“This is not an issue of you guys not doing your job,” said Basile, angry that many township residents are frustrated with the township’s snowplowing results.

Basile said the township would need to establish a “township snow emergency declaration system.”

Following the township’s snow emergency declaration, the ordinance would state that vehicles must be removed from township streets within a certain period of time.

If vehicles aren’t removed from the streets, owners would be fined and/or their vehicles towed.

Township Engineer Thomas Unger is verifying bids opened on Feb. 17 for Crusher Road repairs.

The board will make a recommendation at its March 17 to award the project.

Basile said that information from the Union Township Municipal Authority indicates that its board member John Salaneck, III, missed three out of six meetings in 2013, but not consecutively.

He said the board has no legal grounds to demand Salaneck’s resignation.

“He thinks he is still an invaluable part of that board and wants to stay on through 2014 [the rest of his term,” said Basile.

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