Craziest Road You've Driven?

Topic 8428 | Page 2

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Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Turbo I know exactly where you're talking about. We have a store in Warsaw and we come in from the west on 20. Just before you head down the hill into town they have big signs saying all trucks must pull over first. Then in the pull off area they have a map of where you'll be going and the speeds at which to travel. You better make sure you pull off there too because if a cop catches you bypassing it they will get you for it. It is a pretty nasty hill now that I think of it. Last time I came through there it was just after a snow storm this winter. I think I did like 15mph down that dam hill.

And yes if you stayed on 20 then you weren't very far from mister aquila at all.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
For 20+ miles I kept seeing Warning signs for Big trucks (I didn't consider my rig a Big truck back then) not to proceed but use an alternate route because there was a Twisty Steep downgrade ahead. Not sure what the towns name was, Warsaw or Varysburg that was down in a river Valley, but when I got there and started down I was Trapped.
I wonder if I passed the Town Brett lives in ?

Indeed you did! The town you were in was Warsaw which is down in a valley. I live in the next town over toward Buffalo - Attica. You came into it from the East which is now restricted to trucks completely. Heavy C comes in from the West which is a super steep hill but they still allow trucks on it.

Here's the story of what happened on the East hill years ago......

It's a trucker's worst nightmare -- losing your brakes while traveling down a steep grade. That's exactly what happened to the driver of a large gasoline tanker on Warsaw's East Hill about 5:55 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 1969. The huge tanker careened out of control, smashed through a retaining wall and then crashed into a station wagon, rolling on top of it and bursting into flames.

The station wagon driver, Thomas Drake of Elmira, was killed instantly. Tanker driver John M. Malatta of Macedon miraculously escaped serious injury, leaping from the cab before it became a giant fireball.

Mr. and Mrs. Chester Kwiecen of Perry, driving up the hill behind the station wagon, narrowly escaped death by running to safety moments before their vehicle was overtaken by flames.

Much of the East Hill area was transformed into a sea of fire, according to Daily News accounts. The explosion created a river of flames that engulfed four two-story homes within minutes, leaving 17 people homeless. All escaped safely, including an 83-year-old woman who was carried from her home by a neighbor.

Still, the danger was far from over.

Thousands of gallons of gasoline from the destroyed tanker leaked into village sewers, causing numerous explosions that blew manhole covers high into the air and caused a life-threatening situation for hours.

As evening approached, the glow from the massive fire could be seen for miles around the Oatka Valley.

''Heat was so intense that grass and trees along the road were scorched and blackened,'' The Daily News reported.

Although the house fires were doused, flames and sewer explosions continued through the night and well into Wednesday. Warsaw officials declared a state of emergency and a temporary shelter was set up at Warsaw Central School, which had just opened for the new school year.

More than 300 firefighters from 11 Wyoming and Livingston County departments were called to battle the flames. Utility workers from Pavilion Natural Gas Company were also called.

They faced an immense challenge.

Police also faced difficulties keeping spectators away from the scene, fearful that explosions would cause more casualties. But gradually, crews got control over the situation. Firefighters poured water and stabilizing chemicals into the sewers to quell the explosions. By Wednesday night, the fires and explosions had ended, and Warsaw residents could reflect on their 24 hours of terror. The tragedy sparked renewed calls for the state to ban trucks from the hill and install more warning signals and lights.

State officials listened this time, and truck traffic was officially banned from the East Hill soon after the deadly crash.

The truck ban and other measures have made the hill safer for motorists, but the actions haven't prevented more crashes in the years since 1969, including one just a few weeks ago.

Warsaw area residents can only hope the East Hill is never again the scene of tragedies to match those of May 20, 1955, and Sept. 2, 1969.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Wow Brett that's crazy. Explains why the don't let em on that hill anymore. In surprised they didn't bab the other hill with it. And it's funny because I always wondered why we couldn't take that route 20A to out next stop in Geneseo. Instead we go up through Wyoming.

J. Snow's Comment
member avatar

For everyone driving I-90 out of or into Idaho, My grandfather built the fire lookout you can see rising over the forest. After the 1910 fire he built several. But the UpUp Lookout is the one that remains. You can't miss it when you are driving west. The Forest service used to allow people to spend the night in the lookouts with a reservation. Of Course that means you have to hike up all those stairs. Also, the Savenac Nursery is there too and it's pretty cool to visit. The CCC built the nursery to help with rebuilding the forest and of course to put men to work. :)

My Grandparents opened up a roadside inn back in the 30's and my grandfather built all the cabins. It's still there, in DeBorgia, MT. I think it's called the Atom Rest or something. My Father is in Ripleys as being an only child to go thru all 12 years of school alone. Meaning he never had any other class mates for 12 years. The one room school house is still there and is listed on the national places of something or other important register.

There is a graveyard in DeBorgia, it's just a little east of the DeBorgia exit right on I-90, that all my family is buried in. I'll be buried there too someday. So for every trucker reading this-give a pull on that air horn as you go by!

Anyway... Something to think about either before or after Lookout Pass. I can't wait to drive it!

:)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
The Dude's Comment
member avatar

Wow, I just did Lookout last night too. Wish I had known that stuff yesterday, I would have kept an eye out.

J. Snow's Comment
member avatar

I'm sure you will pass by again! Always stop at the 10,000 Silver Dollar bar! I remember when the original bar was open, it's all boarded up now and down the road from the new one. We used to camp all over that area. I'll never forget my first time tent camping in the Cabin City Campground.

8d51fc8c39b98f29866a7f0fb07b996c.jpg

We had driven over from Spokane, and it snowed, hailed, rained so hard you couldn't see coming over the passes. We were going for a long 4th of July weekend.

And the lightning all night long taking out the trees all around us. I thought we were gonna die. Then, in the morning-we woke up to just about what that picture shows. Amazing beauty!

The Dude's Comment
member avatar

I was this close || to shutting down and taking a 34 at the 10,000 last night, but I decided I wanted to cover a little more distance and ended up doing it in Missoula instead.

J. Snow's Comment
member avatar

Next time.

Fun fact: There are more people buried in the DeBorgia cemetery then there are alive in the town. Maybe that's not so fun... lol But the tomb stones in the cemetery are fascinating. They go back. WAY, way back....

J. Snow's Comment
member avatar

And you know-the river next to I-90 coming down out of the mountains is the Clark Fork river... the very same river as in 'A River Runs Through it...'

:)

Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

For 20+ miles I kept seeing Warning signs for Big trucks (I didn't consider my rig a Big truck back then) not to proceed but use an alternate route because there was a Twisty Steep downgrade ahead. Not sure what the towns name was, Warsaw or Varysburg that was down in a river Valley, but when I got there and started down I was Trapped.

double-quotes-end.png
double-quotes-start.png

I wonder if I passed the Town Brett lives in ?

double-quotes-end.png

Indeed you did! The town you were in was Warsaw which is down in a valley. I live in the next town over toward Buffalo - Attica. You came into it from the East which is now restricted to trucks completely. Heavy C comes in from the West which is a super steep hill but they still allow trucks on it.

Here's the story of what happened on the East hill years ago......

double-quotes-start.png

It's a trucker's worst nightmare -- losing your brakes while traveling down a steep grade. That's exactly what happened to the driver of a large gasoline tanker on Warsaw's East Hill about 5:55 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 1969. The huge tanker careened out of control, smashed through a retaining wall and then crashed into a station wagon, rolling on top of it and bursting into flames.

The station wagon driver, Thomas Drake of Elmira, was killed instantly. Tanker driver John M. Malatta of Macedon miraculously escaped serious injury, leaping from the cab before it became a giant fireball.

Mr. and Mrs. Chester Kwiecen of Perry, driving up the hill behind the station wagon, narrowly escaped death by running to safety moments before their vehicle was overtaken by flames.

Much of the East Hill area was transformed into a sea of fire, according to Daily News accounts. The explosion created a river of flames that engulfed four two-story homes within minutes, leaving 17 people homeless. All escaped safely, including an 83-year-old woman who was carried from her home by a neighbor.

Still, the danger was far from over.

Thousands of gallons of gasoline from the destroyed tanker leaked into village sewers, causing numerous explosions that blew manhole covers high into the air and caused a life-threatening situation for hours.

As evening approached, the glow from the massive fire could be seen for miles around the Oatka Valley.

''Heat was so intense that grass and trees along the road were scorched and blackened,'' The Daily News reported.

Although the house fires were doused, flames and sewer explosions continued through the night and well into Wednesday. Warsaw officials declared a state of emergency and a temporary shelter was set up at Warsaw Central School, which had just opened for the new school year.

More than 300 firefighters from 11 Wyoming and Livingston County departments were called to battle the flames. Utility workers from Pavilion Natural Gas Company were also called.

They faced an immense challenge.

Police also faced difficulties keeping spectators away from the scene, fearful that explosions would cause more casualties. But gradually, crews got control over the situation. Firefighters poured water and stabilizing chemicals into the sewers to quell the explosions. By Wednesday night, the fires and explosions had ended, and Warsaw residents could reflect on their 24 hours of terror. The tragedy sparked renewed calls for the state to ban trucks from the hill and install more warning signals and lights.

State officials listened this time, and truck traffic was officially banned from the East Hill soon after the deadly crash.

The truck ban and other measures have made the hill safer for motorists, but the actions haven't prevented more crashes in the years since 1969, including one just a few weeks ago.

Warsaw area residents can only hope the East Hill is never again the scene of tragedies to match those of May 20, 1955, and Sept. 2, 1969.

double-quotes-end.png

Wow Brett, I did get lucky and Dodge a Big Mistake, I'll cross that one off my Bucket list along with Vietnam and having my Cessna Ice up during my Instrument Check ride so bad that the Engine was trying to Shake off the Plane due to Ice on the Prop. I turn 67 Sunday, I still Enjoy driving Tankers, 53' Dry Vans and my 300 MPH Jet Dragster "Chicago Rush",,, Turbo Dan

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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