2 hurt when pickup crashes into shed in Upper Burrell

Gilbert Schrock gestures to the damage done to a shed adjacent to his home along Seventh Street Road in Upper Burrell after a pick-up truck lost control and crashed into it on Thursday, June 12, 2014.
Gilbert Schrock gestures to the damage done to a shed adjacent to his home along Seventh Street Road in Upper Burrell after a pick-up truck lost control and crashed into it on Thursday, June 12, 2014.
Photo by Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
| Friday, June 13, 2014, 5:10 p.m.

At least two people were injured Thursday in Upper Burrell when a pickup coming from Manchester Hill Road and a car on Seventh Street Road collided, sending the truck careening into a shed.

Upper Burrell police Officer Steffan Shaw said injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

He would not identify the driver of the pickup or the two people in the Chevrolet four-door car on Seventh Street Road. Shaw declined to confirm witness reports that at least two people were taken by ambulance to a hospital, nor would he say what caused the wreck. It was unclear whether anyone would be charged or cited.The owners of the shed, which sits adjacent to their house at the corner of Seventh Street and Lower Drennen roads, were not home when the crash occurred.

Homeowner Gil Schrock said he was at the Lower Burrell VFW when his neighbor called about 7 p.m. to inform him.

“They told me there was a pickup truck inside my shed,” he said. “I was surprised, but I wasn't shocked.”

25 years, 15 wayward cars

Schrock and his wife, Mary Lou, have grown accustomed to cars crashing in their yard.

In the past 25 years, they estimate that they've had about 15 cars end up there, mostly because drivers speeding up Manchester Hill Road lose control and fly across Seventh Street Road.

None had hit their house until July 2012, when a car rammed into the corner of their house along Lower Drennen Road and kept on going. That car had come about 8 inches, they said, from hitting a part of their house where their son lay sleeping.

They went without further incident until Thursday night's crash.

“When I saw the truck and the shed, I couldn't believe no one got killed,” Mary Lou Schrock said. “It could have been bad. It looked like they were going pretty fast.”

The Schrocks' shed sits about 120 feet downhill from Seventh Street Road. Tire tracks from the roadway could be seen leading into the corner of the shed, where a support post and siding on two sides had been ripped away from the impact.

Gil Schrock said the female driver of the pickup had exited the truck on her own power and was conscious and talking to police when they got there. The two people in the Chevy were taken by ambulance, he said.

Both vehicles appeared to be totaled and were towed from the scene, according to Schrock.

Shaw would not say what ambulance service responded or to which hospital the victims were taken. Upper Burrell Township Volunteer Fire Company could not be reached.

Witnesses reports indicate that the Chevrolet was driving toward Penn State New Kensington's campus on Seventh Street Road when the Ford F-150 entered the roadway from Manchester Hill Road. The impact forced the pickup toward the shed.

Mary Lou Schrock said she's unsuccessfully petitioned PennDOT several times to erect a guardrail in their front yard along Seventh Street Road. The state continually denies her request, she said, because guardrails can only be built in front of precipitous dropoffs rather than gradual slopes.

Since Seventh Street Road is a state road, the township can do nothing about the guardrail. Supervisors did, however, erect a warning sign on Manchester Hill Road about 300 feet from the intersection at the top of the hill.

To alleviate the problem, the Schrocks have lined in their front yard along the road a handful of boulders, which they keep illuminated with Christmas lights all year long.

“I think it's going to take somebody to get killed for them to do something,” Mary Lou Schrock said. “Look what happened (on Thursday).”

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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