Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Rose M. Leshow, widow of Charles Leshow, deceased v. Township of Salem, No. SA-77278.
Robert C. Little, Burns, Manley & Little, for petitioner.
Robert Y. Cassol, for respondents.
Judges Mencer, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 627]
Rose M. Leshow, widow of Charles Leshow, deceased (claimant) filed a fatal claim petition,*fn1 averring that, as a result of a motor vehicle accident on December 31, 1976, her husband died and at the time of the accident he was in the course and scope of his employment. A workmen's compensation referee awarded compensation benefits, and, on appeal by the employer of Charles Leshow, the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board affirmed the award of the referee. This appeal followed and we affirm.
Charles Leshow, on the date of the accident, was an elected Supervisor of Salem Township and was also employed as a roadmaster by the township. The geographical area of Salem Township had been divided
[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 628]
into three sections, and each supervisor acted as a roadmaster for the maintenance of the approximately 35 miles of roads in the area designated to him.
A roadmaster's duties included the supervision of the employees who performed the road maintenance work. The roadmasters had normal working hours from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. but were on call 24 hours a day to insure the proper maintenance of the roads in their areas. Each roadmaster utilized his own pickup truck for his own transportation as well as for transporting tools, workers, and supplies throughout the township. As compensation, each roadmaster received $50 per day and, in addition, was paid $8 per day for the use of his truck.
On December 31, 1976, Charles Leshow reported for work at 7 a.m., and the record discloses that he had a conversation at approximately 11:45 a.m. with a fellow roadmaster relative to a township truck's being in need of a new differential. It was agreed between these two roadmasters that each of them would endeavor to locate the needed part.
The record contains no evidence of Charles Leshow's activities from about 11:45 a.m. until the accident at 3:50 p.m. which occurred on route 819 in the area of Salem Township in which he was responsible for road maintenance. The decedent sustained his injuries when the truck he was driving on a snowy and icy road left the traveled portion of the road and struck a tree.
The Township of Salem contends that there is no competent and substantial evidence sufficient to support the finding and conclusion of the compensation authorities that Charles Leshow was in the course of his employment with the township when he met with an ...