ShareThis Page

Versailles home is hit by car -- again

| Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

For a fifth time in six years, a vehicle veered off Center Street in Versailles and into Mike Smith's yard before crashing into his house.

This time it was a Chevrolet Cavalier that did just that Monday at 11:04 a.m., breaking a wooden fence, going through the yard of a next-door neighbor, turning sideways through Smith's yard and crashing into Smith's house.

Police said the two occupants of the vehicle, both in their 20s, were transported to UPMC McKeesport by Elizabeth Township Area EMS.

"When it hit the porch, both air bags deployed," Versailles police Chief William Kruczek said.

He said both occupants had whiplash and the passenger sustained a knee injury.

Kruczek said a witness indicated the vehicle was going 50-60 mph. The speed limit on Center Street is 30 mph.

"You don't come through a yard sideways going 30 miles per hour," Smith said. "This cracked my house."

Smith said his neighbors' children were outside playing on the lawn when the car went through shortly before the accident in the 900 block of Center Street. Smith's wife Donna just missed the accident as she usually is sitting on her porch at that time.

"I was inside and I didn't even hear it," she said. "My son-in-law called and said (tilde)Someone hit your house.'"

The Smiths' son-in-law heard the accident over the scanner.

"As soon as they opened up the bridge, it's like the Indianapolis Speedway," Smith said, referring to the recent partial reopening of the Boston Bridge.

He said motorists often take Center Street to bypass the traffic lights of Walnut Street to get from the Boston Bridge to the other side of Route 48.

"They just speed through here," Smith said. "It's terrible. It's an everyday thing."

Center Street resident Kirk Campbell escorted the driver of the Monday accident away from the vehicle because it was smoking and he worried it could catch fire.

He said the driver told him, "I wish the bridge was still closed because I wouldn't have had this accident."

Campbell said the driver told him he was driving his friend to work and he was late.

Smith said he uses radar and said the average speed on Center Street is 50 mph.

"I have a disability and I use a cart," he said. "I'm afraid to go across the street."

Kruczek said the borough tried to get the Center Street speed limit changed to 25 mph several years ago. He said PennDOT claimed a survey of the road indicated it could handle 30 mph.

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.