Unused Solar Panel Part Smashes School Exec’s Car Window

Unused material blew off the roof of City Hall, fell and smashed the rear window of a car owned by Jared Fulgoni, assistant superintendent of schools.

This story has been updated to reflect Chief of Staff David S. Van Dam’s description of the material that blew off the roof of City Hall.

It was not a good day Wednesday for at least one City Hall employee, as an unused part related to the placement of solar panels on City Hall roof, blew off the building, landing in the car of Jared Fulgoni, assistant superintendent.

Fulgoni received word of the incident from the mayor’s chief of staff David S. Van Dam at about 3:30 p.m., while he was in a meeting with school Superintendent James F. Scully.

“I was thinking it was maybe, because of where I park it, I was thinking alright maybe one of the students, one of the Driver’s Ed students hit it. So, I walk up and there’s the back of my car. Smashed back window, glass everywhere, the back wiper smashed. I’m like, ‘yeah, a piece of the solar panel, a piece of the solar panel came off the roof, came down and smashed your car,’” Fulgoni said.

Van Dam told WHAV the falling piece was not part of the solar array, but rather a leftover and unused part that vendor Solect of Worcester forgot to remove from the roof following installation.

“It shouldn’t have been up there. It was loose on the roof,” Van Dam said. He said Solect returned to the roof and removed another leftover object. The company also agreed to replace Fulgoni’s car window.

Fulgoni’s Volkswagen Golf was parked in a space on the Newcomb Street side of City Hall. According to a Haverhill Police report, police were called to the scene about two hours later.

Fulgoni gave a description of the part that fell.

“It was a piece of plastic that maybe looked like the size of a briefcase, like a small carry-on suitcase. I’m not sure what in the solar panel it does—I don’t know if it’s part of the base of the solar panel system. It’s a holder? Something to do with the solar panel system. But, I guess with the wind, it blew off the roof. It came down and just smashed. It took out the back of my car.”

Meanwhile, questions remain as to the status of the solar panels on the roof of other city buildings, including the police department. Last June, school committee officials were criticized for voting down a project which would have placed similar solar panels on the roofs of Haverhill high School and Tilton School.  School Committee members Scott W. Wood Jr., Shaun P. Toohey and Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello voted against allowing the installation of solar panels on city schools. Ryan-Ciardiello talked with WHAV news Wednesday and said this is a good example of why she voted the way she did last June.

“They wanted us to vote yes on putting solar panels on an elementary school, small children, and not only on the pitched part—I was told it would be on the pitched part, and it ended up they wanted to do the flat part of the roof. With that being said, you’re looking back, what happened today at City Hall. We’re just happy no one was leaving City Hall today, near that car,” Ryan-Ciardiello said.

Meanwhile, Jared has a sense of humor about the incident, saying he’ll still park in the same space.

“At this point, I’m still going to park there. Now, the only thing that can happen. It can blow out the Saran wrap I have covering my window.”

5 thoughts on “Unused Solar Panel Part Smashes School Exec’s Car Window

  1. Haverhill pay attention, this solar crap proposed by by school committee member sevn amerian will cost the city in the future. he won’t be around to answer to the voters. if that piece of solar was on tilton school on haverhill high school and a child was hit what would would amerian’s excuse be. o I don’t live in haverhill anymore. gone with the rest of the snake oil / solar salesman.

  2. Come on Mayor, the roads not pre-treated equal the worst roads in the Merrimack Valley and you blame a piece of equipment and now another solar panel issue and you say its just debris from the roof. Mayor we the voters are not stupid you are major league spin master and the only one you’re fooling is yourself.