Road Crew Paints Over Road Kill

Dead raccoon gets in the way of road crew painting double yellow lines on a western Pennsylvania road

Thursday, Aug 9, 2012  |  Updated 2:13 PM EDT
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Road Crew Paints Over Road Kill

Sean McAfee / AP

PennDot says a road crew couldn't turn around on a congested, curvy, narrow road in Cambria County to avoid a dead raccoon.

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The "squirrelly'' configuration of a western Pennsylvania road helped cause a state crew to paint a double-yellow line over a dead raccoon, an agency official said.

Motorcyclist Sean McAfee pointed out the mistake before it could be cleaned up, according to the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, which also snapped a photo of the painted road kill.
 
"When I saw it, I almost wrecked my motorcycle because I was laughing so hard,'' McAfee told the paper.
 
PennDOT traffic engineer John Ambrosini told the newspaper that paint crews know to avoid such animals and usually have a foreman on the job to clear any dead animals off the road before the paint-spraying truck equipment passes by. This crew didn't have a foreman that day, Aug. 2, and the equipment was too big to turn around in traffic on the curvy, narrow road so the line could be repainted without the carcass in the way.
 
"They did try to stop the paint gun,'' Ambrosini said. "But with the amount of congestion Thursday, the squirrelly geometry of the road, and the size of the equipment, they couldn't turn around to go back and fix the mistake.''

"We were out the next morning to clean it up,'' Ambrosini said. Another crew must still return to fill in a gap in the yellow lines where the carcass had been.

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