Rocks that appeared to have been intentionally placed on the eastbound West Shore Bypass just past the Mount Penn exit have caused a half-dozen accidents since Thanksgiving, Exeter Township police said Thursday, Dec. 19.
Rocks weighing 50 to 60 pounds have disabled several vehicles and put scores of motorists in danger, said Sgt. Sean Fullerton, public information officer.
The first incident occurred late on Nov. 20 when three vehicles were damaged, with two of them needing to be towed, after riding over the large rocks.
“Our initial reaction was not that someone is putting boulders on the bypass,” said Sgt. Sean Fullerton, public information officer.
Police cleared those incidents, figuring the rocks had fallen off a truck.
Ten days later, police received a report of another vehicle hitting a rock in the same area. Based on the previous incidents, they thought it was somewhat suspicious, Fullerton said.
After two vehicles ended up on the shoulder after hitting rocks in the same spot about 4 a.m. today, it left no doubt these were criminal acts, Fullerton said.
"We're taking this very seriously," he said, adding that tens of thousands of vehicles travel on the road daily.
It's not hard for someone to access that part of the highway from nearby residential areas, he explained.
A thin wood line separates that section of the eastbound lanes from two housing developments. A trail leads from the highway to two housing developments. The trail passes a swale that has rocks in it.
Investigators believe there could be more victims, Fullerton said, adding that motorists who sustain minor damage do not always report the problem to police. In this case, he said, they should.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the department at 610-779-1490, and reference case No. 25-19-6408. Officers said Thursday that more calls were coming in all day from drivers who hit or nearly hit the rocks.
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