Video captures Akron city snow plow driver plowing street without snow on it

City says driver will be disciplined

AKRON, Ohio - Akron resident John Fankhauser captured video of a city snow plow that has become quite the buzz in the public works department and on social media websites.

The video, taken on Sunday afternoon on Fankhauser's cellphone, shows a city truck rumbling down Woodward Avenue with its 2 1/2 ton plow down on the street. It bewildered the 43-year-old resident because there wasn't any snow on the road.

"I thought it was ludicrous. There was no reason for him to be out there. There wasn't a stitch of snow on the street," Fankhauser said.

The city launched an investigation after learning of the video from another city employee who saw it on Facebook.

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"There was no excuse for what this gentleman was doing and he's being dealt with," said Paul Barnett, public works manager.

Fankhauser believes the truck went up and down the street four times with the plow loudly scarping the bare pavement.

Barnett said the city's automatic vehicle location system showed the plow was down as the driver made two passes on the North Hill street, and there were not any mechanical problems with the vehicle.

"If you're a snow plow driver, there's no way you can't realize that plow is down," Barnett said.

He added the driver's mistake left some minor wear on the bottom of the snow plow.

Fankhauser considers the worthless plowing a waste of taxpayer dollars.

"Waste of fuel. Waste of wages. The list could on as far as why it was wrong and it wasn't just my street. There are five or six streets...he did as well," Fankhauser said.

City managers have talked with the driver, a 32-year-old man part-time employee, and he didn't have a good explanation.

"Just wasn't thinking," Barnett said.

Barnett added that the driver has been a city employee for 20 months and has not faced any prior disciplinary action. However, he will be disciplined for the dry plowing caught on camera.

"We're going to have meetings with all of our snow and ice drivers to make sure that this was an anomaly and not something that's normal," he said.

NewsChannel5 left a phone message for the driver, but he has not returned the call.

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