Share This Page

Man killed in Ligonier Township accident

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 7:50 p.m.
Rescue workers on the scene of a fatal accident on Nature Run Road in Ligonier Township on Thursday, January 10, 2013. Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review

A Ligonier Township man died on Thursday after he lost control of his pickup truck on Nature Run Road, traveled onto an embankment and struck a tree, police said.

Lawrence M. Habich, 54, of Hearts Lane died in the accident, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner's office.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:35 p.m. by Deputy Coroner Sean R. Hribal.

Habich's Ford F-250 was beginning to descend a hill near a curve when the accident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. near Lady Bug Lane in the township.

“He appeared to lose control, get off into the snow (on the embankment), strike several trees and ultimately begin to overturn onto the driver's side,” township police Chief Michael Matrunics said at the scene.

As the pickup with attached cap was turning onto its side, “it struck a tree that impacted the roof of the passenger compartment in the driver area,” Matrunics added.

The truck struck at least two other trees as it traveled on the snow- and brush-covered embankment before coming to rest, authorities said.

“We believe speeding is a factor due to a witness seeing ... him prior to going off the road,” Matrunics said.

The section of Nature Run Road where the accident occurred has a 45 mph speed limit, police said.

Habich, who was wearing a seat belt, died from head and neck injuries, according to the coroner's office. No autopsy was planned.

The pickup ended up about 15 yards off the road.

An auto wrecker started to slide on the hillside as it attempted to use a chain to pull the pickup out of brush on the embankment. A PennDOT dump truck — one of two in the area — then used a chain to pull the pickup back on the road.

Police couldn't say immediately if weather might have been a contributing factor in the accident.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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.