NANTUCKET, MASS. (WHDH) - A wild crash was caught on camera on Nantucket Sunday night as a pickup truck smashed into the island’s historic Main Street fountain.
A nearby webcam captured the moment of impact around 10:30 p.m., with pieces of the fountain seen scattered all around the road.
Police said 55-year-old Michael Holdgate, the driver of the truck, fled the scene, but officers found the truck near the driver’s home on Vesper Lane. Holdgate was arraigned in court Monday morning on charges including OUI and negligent operation of a vehicle. Court records show this is his second OUI offense.
“It’s right in the way, you have to navigate around it. Really difficult thing to miss if you’re exploring the central part of Nantucket,” said Michael Harrison of the Nantucket Historical Association.
The fountain itself was originally donated to the town of Nantucket in 1885, according to the Nantucket Historical Association. The fountain and the town square around it was later dedicated to Lieutenant Max Wagner in 1932, several decades after Wagner was killed in the Spanish-American War, the historical association said.
“It was installed actually as a drinking fountain, it’s a water trough for horses,” Harrison said. “There’s actually a second basin down at the bottom of it that was meant for dogs, and it originally had drinking cups with chains so that pedestrians could get a drink there as well.”
Water was disconnected from the fountain years ago, officials said, and this is the second time in nearly four years the fountain has been toppled by a vehicle.
Live webcam video late Monday morning showed cars inching down Main Street around the site where the fountain once stood. The base of the fountain itself was blocked off with a traffic cone, police caution tape and barricades.
In 1885 before the installation of the fountain, reports of the time said it was made of iron.
“The castings are extra heavy and the whole apparatus is strong and built in the best possible manner and will not be damaged by blows of heavy vehicles,” Harrison said. “I don’t think they were anticipating pickup trucks.”
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