Update 10:15 p.m. —

Ithaca police say a dump truck lost its brakes coming down the hill on Hector Street/Route 79 and crashed into a utility pole.

The truck traveled off an embankment on the road, struck a few trees, then hit a utility pole before hitting a few more trees. It was loaded with asphalt and towing a trailer with a paver, police said.

The accident occurred around 3:51 p.m. The truck is owned by Harrison Paving Company in Pennsylvania. The driver was unhurt though the truck sustained heavy damage.

The road will be closed until midnight.

Earlier —

Lt. Thomas Basher says that — “amazingly” — there doesn’t appear to be any major damage after the accident.

“We got very lucky with a vehicle of that size,” said Basher, of the Ithaca Fire Department.

The road will be closed for 3 to 4 hours as the clean-up operation commences, according to Basher.

Related story: What if truck safety in Ithaca isn’t possible?

Earlier —

Ithaca N.Y. – A truck was involved in an accident in Ithaca on Wednesday afternoon, prompting a large police response on the city’s west side.

(Jeff Stein/Ithaca Voice)
(Jeff Stein/Ithaca Voice)

Witnesses on scene say that they do not think there are any injuries. A firefighter at the scene said nobody was transported to the hospital.

The driver, who asked not to be interviewed, said only one vehicle — the truck — was involved. It appears to have crossed over the shoulder of the road and onto an embankment running down the hill on Route 79/Hector Street.

Ithaca police officers and firefighters are at the scene. A small crowd had also gathered nearby as emergency personnel worked. Traffic was being rerouted to Campbell Street.

The incident follows a June 20 crash involving a tractor-trailer in Ithaca. The crash at Simeon’s Restaurant killed one person.

The accident Wednesday occurred around 4 p.m. The truck had a “Harrison Paving” logo on it.

Two bystanders further down the hill said they were frightened by what sounded like an explosion.

“It sounded like a real loud explosion … It sounded like a bomb went off and then we saw lights coming up here,” Tim Whitmore said, referencing the police response.

“It’s the second time in just a couple months.”


Natasha Towsley agreed.

“It was scary. We were just down here and we heard a huge bang,” she said.

This news is breaking and we will have more information as it becomes available.

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A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: kyleafriend@gmail.com.