Well another chapter in the book of bad ideas was written late last night when Mr. Micheal Durkin of Shelton and his friend decided to drive his Cadillac Catera down the Shelton Lakes Recreation Path on Lane St. to "look at the stars". They got to the Lane St. Boardwalk and decided to drive across it.
Unfortunately for Mr. Durkin the 6 foot wide boardwalk across the Means Brook Floodplain was designed for baby carriages & bicycles, not a 4000 lb. Cadillac. The Catera model was marketed as the "Caddy that Zigs" so it would appeal to a more adventurous driver.
Mr. Durkin and his friend spent the remainder of last night trying unsuccessfully to jack, wedge, and pry their car out of the swamp and back up onto the boardwalk. The Shelton Police Department called our house this morning looking for the combination to the Land Trust gate so they could get two wreckers in to "pull the car out of the ditch". I was trying to figure out which ditch they were talking about went I saw the car off the boardwalk.
The driver was cited for 2 counts. The officers were very professional and had the 2 guys clean up trash and debris. The police report will be ready later this week & he'll have to go to court. Damage to the boardwalk is being assessed. The driver did apologize and said he would be back there this afternoon fixing the broken deck boards and bullrail so nobody trips and gets hurt.
The substructure of the board walk needs to be checked. The car may have pushed the 4x4 boardwalk piers down into the swamp. At least the brook wasn't flooding at the time the car went in.
The RecPath had a removable post at Lane St. blocking unauthorized vehicles from entering, but somebody vandalized it so the car was able to drive in last night. Oddly enough, the drivers used the post to try to pry the car out of the swamp.
We've had a lot of problems with vandalism at this location this summer; broken kiosks, trash, damage to the Harriet Wilber Memorial Bench, fires, and now this. The boardwalk was built by hand over a couple of months by volunteers, some in their 70's. But it was a great project that was a lot of fun to build and has been of great use to the community. Hopefully the judge takes that into account when sentencing Mr. Durkin.
I'm still trying to figure out how the guys were able to make it around the bend in the boardwalk, and then drove off the straight end.
I don't know how much damage was done to the car. Hopefully Mr. Durkin feels some remorse about doing this dumb thing and the judge makes him fix all this stuff.