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Semitrailers hauling generators take wrong turn, end up in East Topeka 

Three truckers transporting large windmill generators found themselves stranded for about an hour Monday morning in East Topeka with no idea of how to get out.

But city engineering officials figured out a route that enabled the drivers and their oversize loads to get back on their way, said Topeka police Cpl. Frank Padilla.

Police were called at about 9 a.m. Monday to an area where the semitrailers had been stopped on S.E. 6th Street, just east of S.E. Leland.

Each semitrailer combination was almost 50 yards long and carried “oversize load” signs.

A windmill generator bearing the word “Suzlon” sat on each trailer.

Suzlon Energy is Asia’s “strongest growing fully integrated wind power company and ranks among the top ten in the world,” according to the company’s Web site at www.suzlon.com/about-us.htm.

Padilla didn’t know the size or weight of the generators, but he said they were “huge.”

“They look like something out of the space age,” he said.

Padilla said truck drivers from Laredo, Texas-based Fitzley Inc., who were escorted by drivers in pickup trucks, made a wrong turn while transporting the generators from the port of Houston to King City, Mo. King City is just northeast of St. Joseph, Mo.

Padilla said that along Topeka’s eastern edge, members of the procession – who intended to turn east onto US-40 highway – instead went west and into Topeka on S.E. 6th Street. They called for help after realizing they didn’t know the way out, Padilla said.

He said Topeka police officers, Kansas Highway Patrol motor carrier inspectors and officials from Topeka’s city engineer’s office went to the scene.

The trucks eventually got going again at about 10 a.m.

Padilla said they left Topeka by taking a route that went east on S.E. 6th Street to S.E. Madison, north to an on-ramp to westbound Interstate 70, west to US-75 highway, north to US-24 highway and then east out of town.

By Tim Hrenchir
The Capital-Journal
Tim Hrenchir can be reached at (785) 295-1184 or tim.hrenchir@cjonline.com.


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