PITTSTON -- The effort to replace an iconic statue in downtown Pittston got underway on Thursday.
Police say Ronald Chacko was driving on Kennedy Boulevard when he somehow jumped the curb and slammed into the base of the city's Christopher Columbus statue.
Chacko was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated and has since been released.
As for the statue, it's no longer where it stood for nearly 50 years on Main Street. It was taken away Thursday afternoon to get checked and repaired.
For most of the day, the famous Christopher Columbus was wrapped in a tarp, lying on its side.
It was a sad sight for many people passing through.
“It's lucky that it didn't just smash right up, it's a good thing and that nobody was hurt,” said Lorraine Healey of Laflin.
“I'm of Italian descent and of course, I've always admired that statue of Christopher Columbus,” said one man.
City leaders just refurbished the statue last year, cleaning the marble. Now, they're not sure when it'll be put back in place.
“Obviously, we're going to have to take additional safety measures,” said Joe Moskovitz, the Pittston city administrator.
He added the statue is insured and will stay in a warehouse until it can be repaired. Now, the city is looking to add a barrier to protect the statue from future crashes.
“It was kind of surreal to understand how someone could have hit the statue,” he said.
Only the base of the statue was hit, Columbus himself suffered just a few scratches.
City leaders also say the driver could face citations but that right now the case is under investigation.