Christopher Columbus Statue Lands on Car after Crash in Pittston

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PITTSTON -- A statue of Christopher Columbus landed on a car after a crash in Pittston.

It happened around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Pittston near the intersection of Kennedy Boulevard and South Main Street.

Police say a vehicle drove over the curb, smashed into a fence, and slammed into the base of the statue. The statue came crashing down on the back of the car, smashing the rear window.

Marie Griglock heard it happen.

"A very large crash. Never thought it was that, though, he really hit it solid. He really hit it solid,” she said.

Folks in Pittston called it unbelievable.

"First time I ever saw Columbus come down, you know. It had to be hit pretty hard for it to come down,” said Alicia Lynch of Pittston.

The driver was taken to a hospital.

As crews lifted the statue, a crowd gathered to watch.

"I mean every time I drive by, I'm like, 'Wow, look at that statue.' You know, it's one of the big things here in Pittston. Just seeing all this, I'm amazed,” said Amber Borysewicz of Pittston.

"I would say the person had to be going pretty dang fast honestly,” said Kyle Biggers of Pittston.

City leaders call the statue a point of pride.

"We brought in the statue in 1969 from Italy and we've been taking care of it, the Italian Americans ever since," said Herman Castellani of the Italian American Association of Luzerne County.

“Somebody came in and said the statue was down and I thought everybody was joking, and then the chief came in with a picture and we thought it was in pieces!" said James DeIce of the Italian American Association of Luzerne County.

The Columbus statue is made of strong Carrera marble, according to the Italian American Association, which is why it wasn't damaged.

"The main thing is that the statue is intact, it looks like it's not damaged, miraculously. Could be a miracle, you know,” laughed Pittston Council Member Danny Argo.

City officials do not believe the statue itself was damaged and plan to put it back up once the fence is repaired.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

24 comments

    • Seneca

      Whatever for? Remember, statues of true, and more recent, mass murderers, such as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, are still standing.

  • Russ

    Anyone can easily research some of the pretty nasty facts about Columbus….and then judge for yourself. We were not taught all of that in school. It is pretty shocking.

    • Seneca

      Russ, it would be good if people could get all the facts, and not just the bad ones. But most of the contemporary writing on Colombus is quite biased toward revisionist leftism. If you want a more objective, and well-researched, account, try “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” by Samuel Eliot Morrison. Out of print for years, but rewarding reading.

  • Conroy

    Good, they should leave it down. Columbus was a genocidal scumbag and he wasn’t even the first European to discover the Americas.

    • Seneca

      Whatever you may think of him, Columbus was the greatest man of the second millennium (sorry, Karl Marx!). His impact remains unmatched.

    • Writer Girl

      Well, Columbus was sophisticated enough to get the credit, so buzz off! Native Americans weren’t here first either. Research “the walk across ice.” There is credible evidence that white men, even before the Vikings, discovered America. It’s funny how those who complain about the few negative things Columbus did, that were common at the time, are reaping the benefits of the society he helped create. You wouldn’t want to still be living in a teepee wearing animal skins, would you?

      • Seneca

        See my reply to Russ’ comment. If you want to judge Colombus, go beyond the contemporary revisionist accounts and then make your judgement. BTW, the controversy is not new. Criticism of Colombus’ actions in the New World began in his own lifetime; some of it was justified, some not. However, it’s important to consider the motives of those who condemn him.

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