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Dan Kinney Truck in Ditch

Dan Kinney, Pat Clark and I had been to the village of Santa Cruz to repair a hand pump. We had learned of the problem when Dan and I had gone to several villages a few days earlier to check on the pumps. This one was not producing any water at all. We attempted to talk with the villagers about the problem, but learned that most of them spoke a dialect, so all we could get learn was that the pump had not been working for about 3 months.

We took the pump service truck out and pulled the cylinder out of the well and replaced it with a slightly larger new one. The work had gone well and although it had been raining as we worked, there were no particular problem encountered and we were happy but wet as we drove home.

On the way home we passed through Santa Fe, which is a small suburb of Poptun. The road was badly rutted and we were traveling very slowly because of the holes and the ruts in the road. We passed over a concrete bridge over a stream that flowed through the village. We had just passed the concrete bridge abutment, when suddenly the road gave way and the truck lurched to the right and tipped as if to roll into the ditch. The ditch was about 4 feet deep with about one foot of nasty water in the bottom of it.

I had been sitting in the middle and was the only one with a seatbelt on. We were unsure if the truck was going to go on over, but Dan (who was on the passenger side) got out in a flash. I stayed belted it till it was certain the truck was not going to roll further, and then I got out on the drivers side.

We surveyed the predicament. The truck was on the frame with the passenger side front wheel hanging in the air over the ditch. The only thing that had kept the truck from rolling on over was the fact that the rear dual had rolled onto an old concrete culvert pipe that had evidently carried the river water before the bridge had been built.

What to do? There is no AAA club to call. We called Gary, who happened to be headed into town and was about 10 minutes away. While we waited for him, a man walked around the corner and asked if we needed help. We said we did and he said he knew a man near by who might help. He walked away and in about another 5 minutes another man came driving up in a large almost new Caterpillar 4 wheel drive back hoe. Just what we needed!

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