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The Wrecking Ball
at Pettetier Library
About 9:45 a.m. Monday July 9, 2007 an extraordinary event took place on the Allegheny College campus…. unusual enough that it made the national news!
A 1,500-pound three foot wrecking ball, demolishing part of Allegheny's Pelletier Library, broke its chain. It did some serious wrecking as it rumbled three quarters of a mile down North Main Street, all the while careening back and forth from one side of the street to the other. It wrecked nine parked cars and the curb on both sides of the street as it gathered speed. The crane operator was injured as he threw bricks in front, trying desperately to stop the wrecking ball.
Finally it crashed into the trunk of an Allegheny student's Ford Taurus, stopped at a traffic light. The wrecking ball had gained enough momentum to crush the trunk into the back seat of Alex Habay’s car, showering Habay with glass and causing a chain reaction as it pushed his car into the two cars in front of him. The fourth car in line was a Meadville police cruiser.
Three people, including Habay, were treated and released from the hospital.
Habay, a junior soccer player for Allegheny, had eight soccer balls in his car that may have lessened the impact of the wrecking ball, and possibly spared his life, according to an investigating police officer on the scene. Habay was left with a wreck of a car, minor neck and back pain, a serious headache and a great story to tell.
Later, the student body voted to name the library's coffee shop "The Wrecking Ball" to memorialize the event.