Monkey business on dead-end road in Greene County

Truck with 9 primates gets stuck on rural dead-end road

February 7, 2014

CARMICHAELS – What is funnier than a truckload of monkeys stuck in a ditch on One Armed Lady Road in Greene County? A truckload of monkeys stuck in a ditch on One Armed Lady Road that got there from I-79 while trying to avoid traffic at Pittsburgh’s Liberty Tunnel.

Cumberland Township police Chief Craig Miller said he thought someone was pulling his leg when he came in to the station and listened to the call.

“You couldn’t find that road if you were trying to,” Miller said of the dead end road located off of Jensen Hollow Road in Cumberland Township.

It was just after 6 a.m. when retired Greene County Detective Fran Suppok was awakened by his dogs barking excessively. Suppok said he looked out his window and saw a truck sitting there.

“I didn’t think much of it because there are gas wells out past our place. I thought it was just one of those guys,” he said. “When the dogs kept carrying on I went out to see what was going on, and saw the truck was stuck in the ditch. It was nothing but solid ice out there and all he had was a two-wheel drive pickup truck.”

Suppok said the driver told him he realized he was lost and got stuck when he tried to turn around. He told Suppok his GPS took him off of the Kirby exit and from there he somehow found himself on One Armed Lady Road in front of Suppok’s door.

Cumberland Township police officer Kurtiss Benco responded to the rather surreal call. Benco said he had no idea how the man’s GPS led him to One Armed Lady Road.

The nine monkeys came from South Carolina and were bound for the University of Pittsburgh’s primate research program, where they are used to study a myriad of health-related issues. One such study gained notoriety for the program when monkeys were trained to manipulate a robotic arm by its thoughts utilizing sensors implanted in its brain.

To say this was very valuable cargo is an understatement. Each research monkey runs into the thousands of dollars to purchase, topping out at roughly $25,000 per monkey.

A tow truck was called by police to get the monkeys and driver back on their way. New directions were then provided by human beings.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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