Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 9, 2012

Crews paint over dead raccoon

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — It was one of those things where you couldn’t believe what you were seeing.

A man riding a motorcycle spotted a dead raccoon in the middle of the street. Not that unusual – except that this raccoon had been painted over by a road crew.

“When I saw it, I almost wrecked my motorcycle because I was laughing so hard,” Sean McAfee said.

According to a PennDOT spokesman, the incident, while embarrassing, was unavoidable.

“They did try to stop the paint gun,” District 9 traffic engineer John Ambrosini said.

“But with the amount of congestion Thursday, the squirrelly geometry of the road and the size of equipment, they couldn’t turn around to go back and fix the mistake.”

An accompanying vehicle usually with the painting vehicle to clean up or move any obstructions. But that morning the crew was short staffed.

The paint crew saw the dead critter, Ambrosini said. But it was too late to stop the double yellow lines from running up the back of the raccoon.

The animal’s carcass was removed the next day and an unpainted spot is all that remains of where the unfortunate animal met its demise. But, he said, paint crews take their jobs very seriously. “Painting the yellow lines over the existing lines is not easily done.”

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Details for this story were provided by The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa.

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