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Garbage truck crashes into North Charleroi home

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 12:05 p.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Justin Harrington clutches 2-year-old son Conner as they survey what used to be their home at the intersection of Conrad Avenue and 7th Street in North Charleroi after a garbage truck slammed into the structure on Friday, November 22, 2013.

Jamie Harrington rushed home from work when she learned of the accident.

But the shock of seeing a 25-ton garbage truck smashed into the corner of her residence at the intersection of Seventh Street and Conrad Avenue in North Charleroi was overwhelming.

“I said, ‘That's where my TV used to be,'” Harrington said when she saw the County Hauling Corp. truck.

The truck ended up in the living room of the house. No one was home at the time.

“If anybody had been home, that's where they would have been,” Harrington said. “Our couch — you can't see it any more.”

According to Lock Four fire Chief Bill Castner, the garbage truck was traveling up Seventh Street around 11:50 a.m. Friday. The driver attempted to brake, but the brakes failed. As the rig rolled down the hill, the driver and the passenger both jumped out, sustaining minor injuries.

Gary Worgan, the passenger in the truck, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Oakland. No condition information was available.

A neighbor called Justin Harrington, who was at work in Bentleyville. He called his wife, Jamie, who rushed to the scene from her job in Charleroi about 15 minutes after the crash.

She said some crews were already there.

Lock Four, Fallowfield Township and Charleroi firefighters responded, as well as a crew from Mon Valley Emergency Medical Service. The Washington County tactical team helped secure the building.

The Salvation Army and Red Cross offered aid.

Crews were on the scene for about four hours.

Traffic was rerouted around the site.

Jamie Harrington said neighbors were very supportive, offering the family places to stay and providing coffee and doughnuts for the crews working to extricate the truck from their house.

Harrington said the family was told it would take months to repair their rental home.

“We're just going to move,” she said.

The owner was not identified.

“We spoke with the owner of the garbage company and he said anything we need he will take care of.”

While the parents were at work, the Harringtons' two school-age children were in school at the time of the accident. Their 2-year-old, Conner, was at his grandmother's home in Charleroi.

“We're incredibly grateful for the timing,” said Jamie Harrington, speaking from the hotel room where her family was put up by the Red Cross. “My husband left for work an hour before. Our stuff can be replaced.”

Castner agreed.

“They were lucky they weren't home. It really tore the house up. It probably would have killed them.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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