Wrecked truck is part of view at scenic point
Haines Borough officials and Alaska State Troopers say they haven’t decided what to do with a wrecked pickup truck left two months ago on the town’s most prominent viewpoint.
The truck was involved in a wreck near 6 Mile Lutak Road at the end of September, but was moved to the gravel parking area at Picture Point after trooper Andrew Neason told the owner he had to get it out of the roadway.
“The person who owns the vehicle left town, and it’s actually off the right-of-way of the road. It’s not a hazard. So basically there is a charge called vehicle abandonment (that we could level), but there is a certain time period we need to wait before we go down that route,” Neason said.
A person can’t be charged with vehicle abandonment until the vehicle has been sitting on the same site for 90 days, he said.
“The borough can move it if they choose, but I have to basically give everybody their due course and wait for the time to expire before I can move forward with criminal charges,” the trooper said.
Interim police chief Simon Ford said the arrival of the borough’s newly-purchased flatbed truck would allow public works to move the truck without damaging it, “but there is still no secure yard to tow the truck to and no process by which we – the borough – would impound it.”
Borough officials have stated a major obstacle to towing and disposing of abandoned vehicles is the liability associated with moving and towing the car.
Ford added removal of the truck is an issue he would “like to see addressed quickly.”
Public facilities director Carlos Jimenez said he contacted Ford a week ago to inquire about the truck and if it was going to be moved. “I’d like to get it gone. It’s not in the way of snowplowing, but aesthetically it looks out of place,” Jimenez said.
In the past, the borough has stored wrecked vehicles at the wastewater treatment plant, but those were cars trashed in accidents. “If there is a wrecked truck that is rolled over, I’m not going to worry about it as much as a 2013 Ford pick-up truck with chrome wheels,” Jimenez said.
He said the $50,000 flatbed truck arrived Monday, but whether it will be used to move the truck is still up for discussion, as Ford is out of town all week at a conference in Anchorage.