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Rampage of 35-Ton Front-End Loader Ruins Car Dealer's Day

October 17, 1994| Associated Pres s

WEST SENECA, N.Y. — A giant unoccupied front-end loader rumbled out of control for half a mile, crunching 16 cars at an auto dealership and just missing a video store and some power lines.

Police said someone started the 35-ton loader Saturday after construction workers left a nearby demolition site. The unidentified person drove it a short while before jumping off.

No one was hurt as it thundered over railroad tracks, just missed two sets of power lines and passed within 15 feet of a Blockbuster Video Store.

Customers said the loader disappeared in some underbrush, reappeared climbing a hill and headed toward the auto dealership.

The huge piece of equipment moved down a line of new and used cars, climbing over them, crunching them flat or ripping off their back ends.

Among the casualties was a fully loaded $32,000 Oldsmobile 98 that had arrived from the factory a few hours earlier. The car was flattened into a 3-foot-high metal pancake.

The front-end loader then plowed a $28,000 Oldsmobile into the wall of Corbo's service garage, its treads gouging a 3-foot trench in the lot. Someone finally jumped on and shut it off.

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