ELKINS - Even when a business owner has 40 years' worth of memories, one event stands out above all the rest.
Joe Chabut, owner of Elkins Truck Service, which is celebrating its 40th year in business today, remembers the event well.
Last Oct. 11, two 40-ton passenger cars of the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad were derailed when the train was struck by a logging truck on U.S. 250 near the Cheat Mountain Bridge.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Tim MacVean
Joe Chabut, Elkins Truck Service’s owner, and wrecker operator Steven Stahl, will celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary today.
In the wake of the accident, which claimed the life of one person and injured 23, emergency responders called Elkins Truck Service for help with righting the passenger cars.
Chabut said the call for assistance was "the most unusual call" he'd ever received.
"We hired a crane to help and righted the train cars so they were able to be pulled up the tracks by the engine."
Chabut said his company, based at 38 11th St., responds to all sorts of different situations but the majority involve dump trucks and big rigs broken down or wrecked on the highway.
Chabut said he opened the business in 1974 in order to fill a gap of heavy machine repair in the area, and he's been expanding the company ever since.
"There was nobody doing heavy repair, so, as a result, I entered into the business," he said. "I also realized there was no way to tow the trucks here to work on them, so the next reasonable move was to get a wrecker."
When the business first opened, Chabut was the sole employee. The company now has 13 full-time and numerous part-time mechanics and operators.
Elkins Truck Service is a full-service body shop and towing service, and it stocks and sells new and used truck parts. The company also repairs light, medium and heavy duty trucks.
Chabut says his newest piece of equipment is a 60-ton rotator truck, and his goal is continued growth.
"We have been in a constant state of expansion. We just got a new wrecker and are getting it on the road.
"We are also working on renovating the building, which should triple our work area."
For more information, call 304-636-5330.