Trucker gives new meaning to ‘traffic jam’

With a power pole at one end and a guard rail at the other, this semi became wedged between at the east end of the main street in Hartville Friday morning. Unfamiliar with the area, the driver had attempted to turn around in a wider section of the street but the truck slid on the icy road. It took crews around five hours to free the semi.

HARTVILLE--As excuses go for being late on the job, telling your boss you were delayed due to a traffic jam in Hartville, Wyoming would probably rank right up there with “the dog ate my homework.”
But for an Idaho couple who ride the highways for a paycheck together, that’s exactly what happened early Friday morning at the east end of Hartville’s main street.
Due to an error in their GPS system, the driver turned off of Wyoming 270 and ended up going east through the tiny town. Realizing the mistake and unfamiliar with the area, the driver began looking for a place to turn the rig around and continued east toward Sunrise. Seeing the wide area prior to making the curve, the trucker tried to turn the truck around. But after pulling the front end of the tractor portion of the semi fully around and started the opposite direction, the back end of the trailer began to slide on the icy pavement. Following winter storms, the area stays slick due to the lack of sunlight that hits the area.
As the back end slid into the guard rail on the south side of the street, the driver tried to continue forward but the front end was now in contact with a power pole on the north side, preventing the driver from moving either direction without breaking or tearing down the pole. It quickly became obvious that he was not going to be driving out of the situation without some help. By this time, the situation had drawn the attention of some of the Hartville residents.
A wrecker was called out of Wheatland, the Wyoming Highway Patrol was on scene and WYRULEC was contacted to deal with the power pole. After shutting down the power to the community as a precautionary safety measure and removing part of the guard rail, , the wrecker was able to move the trailer portion of the rig back to the east, then pull the front section of the truck back in line and away from the pole. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the incident, and although it turned out to be about a five- hour process, nobody went away hungry. Scott and Kristy Harmon, owners of the Miners Steak House and Bar, got busy in the kitchen and fixed breakfast burritos for everyone, including the onlookers from the community. “You know how it is,” said Kristy. “You can’t have an event up here and not serve food!” It is the classic sign of a town that welcomes everyone and makes a bad situation better. Rife with links to the town’s history, residents often hear comments from visitors who find the town “charming and friendly.”
Indeed, Hartville is a special place--a town that reflects a more laid-back lifestyle and people who still value hospitality and putting their best foot forward.
For a couple from Idaho who ended up in an unlikely predicament, it was a good place to be. Even if it can’t be found by GPS.

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