Two months after crash, family misses Arnold home
Two months after she survived a car smashing into her Arnold house, Sherry Ashbaugh says Tuesday she still isn't sleeping.
Ashbaugh, 42, and her two young children were home at 2125 Leishman Ave. on Feb. 11 when the unbelievable happened.
Neighbor Richard Swiklinski, 64, of the 300 block of Murray Avenue, was behind the wheel of a car that careened down steep Murray Avenue and failed to stop at the T-intersection of Murray and Leishman avenues.
According to court records, Swiklinski pleaded guilty to driving too fast for conditions and careless driving. He paid about $250 in fines and court costs.
Swiklinski declined to comment on Tuesday.
Ashbaugh; her husband Harry; daughter, Samantha, 5; and son, Brandon, 3, are still waiting for what comes next.
The family is temporarily staying in a townhouse in Lower Burrell that's being paid for by their insurance company.
“It's nice, but it's not having your own house,” Ashbaugh said.
“I'm hanging in there, but it's very stressful,” she said. “It's still very traumatic.”
Damage to the modest house is extensive. The first floor has caved in where the 2000 Taurus barrelled into the front door, through the living room and kitchen. The upstairs steps are smashed, too, so the family can't get inside to retrieve any undamaged belongings.
Sherry said she “gets sick every time I go there.”
Her sister, Alicia Phillips, understands.
“She almost died there,” Phillips said. “There's no way she can live there again. It's so emotional.”
The family is working with its insurance company, a contractor and an attorney to determine what can be done.
Ashbaugh understands that the process can take time. That gives her more time to reflect on what was and could have been.
“I look at the kids and think, ‘What if I or one of them weren't still here?' And I can't imagine it,” she said.
Ashbaugh wants to thank her neighbors, police and firefighters who helped get the kids and helped her.
Samantha is “talking a lot” about the old house. Brandon says he “misses his house,” their mother said.
Ashbaugh said she is getting medical and psychological help and her daughter will start counseling soon.
That, too, is causing stress because the family only has one income and they can't afford insurance.
“We're barely paying our bills,” she said.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Vandergrift man accused of sexual assault
- 1 dead in Washington Township crash
- Ex-church youth leader to face trial for forcing teen girl to have sex
- Steelworkers march for contract in Harrison
- ATI contract expires today; union reports no progress in negotiations
- Springdale Jubilee opens Tuesday; hours extended Thursday through Saturday
- 60 years later, Arnold to memorialize officers’ sacrifice
- West Deer Girl Scout troop starts farm-to-food bank program
- Arnold dedicates memorial to officers killed in 1953
- Harrison officer known for sense of duty, humor
- Freeport board hires substitute superintendent