One, two, three trucks jammed up Vineyard Haven traffic

A tractor trailer truck driver misjudged the turn on to Union Street as he headed for the Vineyard Haven Steamship Authority terminal Friday afternoon. — Photo by Nelson Sigelman

Updated 3:30 pm, Monday

It was a tough weekend for truck drivers on Main Street in Vineyard Haven and motorists who were stuck in traffic. Twice on Friday, trucks became wedged sideways across the street, in two different incidents. On Sunday, a driver went the wrong way down Main Street.

On Friday, a semi tractor-trailer truck driver failed to make a right turn from Main Street to Union Street in Vineyard Haven just about 12:30 pm, and the rig became lodged against a tree.

Union Street was blocked as police waited for a tow truck to help shift the truck.

Tisbury detective Mark Santon said the truck was empty and could likely be shifted, enabling the driver to proceed down Union Street.

Detective Santon said truck drivers often rely on GPS devices for directions to the boatline terminal without knowing what they are getting into.

“It happens all the time,” Mr. Santon said as he waited for a tow truck. Those words were prophetic.

The hapless driver, Adam Cheney of Manchester, New Hampshire, was not cited.

The truck was finally extricated from the predicament about 1 pm.

Later Friday, at about 5:30 pm, it happened again. A large flatbed semi loaded with tent equipment moving down narrow Spring Street tried to turn onto Main Street. Realizing that he could not make the turn, the driver stopped with the truck cab on the sidewalk in front of Mosher Photo.

Police cleared the street by helping drivers back up Main Street to State Road. Then the truck driver reversed course and backed his rig all the way up Spring Street to Franklin Street, where police blocked off traffic until the driver could get turned around.

The driver said he was relying on his GPS to find the best route to the SSA terminal. The truck is owned by Townes Trucking, of Coffeeville, Mississippi.

Traffic got back to normal about 6:15 pm. It was a short respite.

At 11:30 am, Sunday morning, a truck driver traveling south on Main Street from the West Chop area failed to recognize that Main Street changed from a two-way roadway at the intersection with Woodlawn Avenue to a one-way street, and he was driving in the wrong direction.

The driver managed to get as far as Le Grenier restaurant and the start of the Vineyard Haven business district before he came to a stop.

“The operator, George A. Wilson of Dracula, Georgia, told me he was en route to the SSA and was following directions from his GPS,” officer Michael Gately wrote in his report.

“Main Street, Greenwood Avenue, Franklin Street and West Spring Street had to be closed temporarily while the truck was rerouted to the SSA.”

The driver received a citation for a one-way street violation.