Century-old Loretto monument badly damaged in car crash

Photo from Loretta Parrish

LORETTO, Pa. — A monument at a three-way intersection commissioned by American steel tycoon Charles Schwab was badly damaged late Thursday night when a pickup truck slammed into it, witnesses told 6 News.

According to witnesses and pictures, the truck rammed the monument and was stuck halfway on top of it. State police did not say Friday what led to the crash or how the driver was doing.

The monument, which has stood in Loretto for about a century, was originally commissioned as a drinking fountain for people and horses and featured a 13-foot obelisk and a light on top, Loretto historian Frank Seymour said.

This also wasn't the first time the monument has been hit. Seymour said he worked in the '80s to fix much of the monument after it was hit by a car. He said he could remember at least three other times that people had hit the monument, causing major damage, along with other incidents that caused minor damage.

It's not clear yet how long it could take to fix the monument — if it's even possible. Seymour said it's a shame to see something that reminds people in the Loretto of the area's long history in this condition with the possibility that it won't get fixed.

"If this (landmark) goes, something else will go," Seymour said. "And we probably won't ever get these back."

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