A township Department of Public Works truck rolled in reverse into a condominium and air conditioning unit as a worker checked a meter at a sewer lift station on July 15.
The township’s insurance paid for the depreciated value of the 10-year-old air conditioning unit, leaving the township to pay $795 from its General Fund to cover the difference.
Township Manager Bill Cargo said they replaced the air conditioning unit immediately without waiting for an insurance adjustor "for good customer service" because of the heat wave at the time, and also because the condo resident had guests. He said the unit was replaced within five hours after the incident.
Cargo said the township truck either wasn’t in park or slipped out of park when the employee left the vehicle.
“It was a human error,” he said.
The condominium unit and township service truck received minor damages, but Cargo said it won’t impact the township's insurance rate because it’s covered under general liability insurance.
“This is pretty unique and unusual,” he said.
Cargo said the employee underwent drug and alcohol testing to make sure there weren’t any hidden reasons for the crash.
During a recent Township Board work session, Township Public Services Director Mark VerBermoes said the worker was upset over the incident.
To prevent such incidents from occurring in the future, Township Administrative Services Director Suzanne Proksa said the public works crew is considering turning vehicles off when employees stop to check meters.