Car driven into Hornell city reservoir

Rob Montana

An Arkport man was charged with driving while intoxicated after his vehicle ended up in the City of Hornell’s drinking water reservoir early Thursday morning.

Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies report Brian S. Sundwall, 34, of Arkport, was charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater, and trespass, after deputies found his vehicle underwater in the reservoir this morning.

That a vehicle was in the reservoir apparently will not affect the city’s supply, said Mitch Cornish, Hornell assistant public works superintendent.

Cornish was notified of the situation when he received a phone call around 2:30 a.m., but said Public Works Superintendent Dave Oakes and Lenny Fucci, city filter plant chief operator, went to the scene.

“It happened around 2:30 a.m., when there was a man parked up on the No. 1 reservoir,” Cornish said. “He put the car in drive, instead of reverse, and went into the water.

“They pulled the car out and there was no harm done,” he said.

Oakes said the reservoir has a capacity of around 150 million gallons, and that if the vehicle had lost any fuel it would not have affected the water supply.

“If you divide 30 (gallons) into 150 million, the number of parts per million is an insignificant amount by the standards,” he said, “but the vehicle didn’t experience fuel loss, it remained in the tank.”

Fucci notified the state Department of Health of the incident, Oakes said.

“He had conversations with them in the wee hours of the morning, and they’ve already looked at it,”?Oakes said. “They were satisfied it had no impact on the potable water supply.”

He said officials were on the scene until about 4 a.m. when the vehicle was removed from the reservoir.

In addition to Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies and city public works officials, Fremont fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene.

Sundwall was processed and is scheduled to appear in Fremont town court at a later date to answer the charges.

The Evening Tribune