Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pittston man narrowly escapes falling concrete

Edward Joseph Shucosky Jr. sustains only minor injuries after slab collapses outside bank

August 28. 2013 11:56PM

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A Pittston man was discharged Wednesday from Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown, less than 24 hours after a 17-ton concrete slab overhang fell onto a truck he was driving near Stroudsburg.

Edward Joseph Shucosky Jr., 36, said he’s lucky to be alive and to have escaped serious injury. He spent more than an hour trapped in the driver’s seat in a bucket truck he was driving for Wyoming Electric and Signal of Exeter. The truck is owned by Kuharchick Construction of Exeter.

“I’m really lucky considering the pictures that I saw,” he said.

Why the slab fell is being investigated by Stroud Area Regional Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction team. But Shucosky said he’s pretty sure his bucket truck did not come into contact with the overhang, until it fell onto it where the windshield meets the hood.

“I just heard a big crash,” said Shucosky. And then the waiting game began. He sat, pinned behind the Ford truck’s dashboard, as emergency responders worked to remove the slab and then extract him. According to police, the concrete slab was about 48 feet long and 12 feet wide.

While stuck in the truck less than 90 minutes, he said time seemed to move slowly as he could only sit there hearing the sounds of the machines and watching what was going on. His father, Edward Joseph Shucosky Sr. of Harding, was also with the 15-man work crew that was on the site handling a township-wide traffic signaling project. He was among those watching and waiting.

“It felt like forever,” Shucosky said. “It was insane.”

Although he was airlifted to Lehigh Valley’s trauma unit, the injuries turned out to be non-life threatening. In fact, all he sustained was a sprained ankle.

“I don’t know how. A few seconds later and it could have been a lot worse,” said the married father of two.

Rob Bresnahan, the chief financial officer for Kuharchick Construction, called the timing of the slab falling “very fortuitous.” He also said that being in a bucket truck likely helped decrease damage to Shucosky.

While police do their investigation, Bresnahan said the company is also anxiously awaiting the results to see just what happened.

Because the incident occurred in a bank-drive through lane, said Bresnahan, security cameras should provide evidence about what happened. In the meantime, he said, both companies are happy Shucosky is alive and mainly unscathed.

“It’s unfathomable, really,” Bresnahan said.

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