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Van crashes into Belle Vernon home

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Cornelius McConville, 22, of Monongahela stands in front of the wreckage after he fell asleep behind the wheel while traveling from Connellsville to Eighty Four. McConville lost control of the van and crashed into the residence of Belle Vernon Mayor Gerald Jackson just after 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Cornelius McConville, 22, of Monongahela stands in front of the wreckage after he fell asleep behind the wheel while traveling from Connellsville to Eighty Four. McConville lost control of the van and crashed into the residence of Belle Vernon Mayor Gerald Jackson just after 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Southwest Regional police were summoned to the home of Belle Vernon Mayor Gerald Jackson after a van crashed into the mayor's residence just after 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Police Chief John Hartman said Cornelius McConville, 22, of 35 Carroll Way, Monongahela, was hauling cardboard forms as part of his job when he fell asleep at the wheel while traveling northbound on Route 906 on his way from Connellsville to Eighty Four.

“He traveled off the northbound side of the road approximately 200 feet before impact,” Hartman said. “He woke up, overcompensated returning to the roadway and crossed the southbound lane and went off the road again and traveled 80 feet before making impact with the home.”

Hartman added that Jackson was home at the time.

“The homeowners were there, but were in a different area of the home,” he said. “The dogs that are usually kept outside near the site of impact were also in a different part of the house.”

Hartman said that Jackson reported that he felt the rumble of the impact, which shook the entire home.

The portion of the home that was hit is where the chimney once was, Hartman said.

“The wall crashed through the windshield and fell into the cab of the vehicle,” the Chief added. “He's extremely lucky that he wasn't killed.”

McConville suffered minor injuries to head and right arm, and refused medical attention at the scene.

“He didn't know of any medical condition that would cause him to fall asleep such as sleep apnea or high blood pressure,” Hartman said.

Hartman said the crash caused “significant” damage to Jackson's residence.

According to Hartman, McConville will be cited for careless driving.

Route 906 was closed for approximately 30 minutes while crews were on the scene. Southwest Regional officers were assisted at the scene by Washington Township police, Belle Vernon firefighters, and Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2667 or jsellew@tribweb.com.

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