Share This Page

Minivan's brakes fail as vehicle hits Hempfield house

| Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Miles Webb of Webb's Service Center in Greensburg pulls a mini van from the front porch of the home at the intersection of West Newton Road (Route 136) and Thomas School Road in Hempfield Township on Thursday, August 22, 2013.

In the seven years Tim Hallam, 36, has lived along Route 136 in Hempfield, there have been four accidents involving a vehicle wrecking into his home.

On Thursday, Hallam received a phone call notifying him of a fifth.

Just before 4 p.m., Hallam's neighbor called to tell him a Toyota Prima minivan had driven onto his porch when the driver's brakes failed and he had “bailed out” of the vehicle.

“It gets hit about once a year here,” Hallam said. “This is the deepest they've made it in.”

Joshua Peters, 24, of Greensburg was driving down Thomas School Road when the brakes in his vehicle failed 40 feet from the stop sign at the intersection with Route 136.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘I'm going to hit the house,' and then immediately I thought, ‘I'm going to hit another person,' because it's two lanes,” Peters said. “No one came through.”

Peters said he considered trying to make the turn onto the road, but he knew he would not be able to make it without hitting another vehicle. About 10 feet before the stop sign, he decided to jump out of the vehicle. As he looked up from the ground, Peters watched the minivan roll into Hallam's yard, hitting a picket fence and crashing into the porch.

Parts of the porch floor and a pillar were damaged, but Hallam said the roof appeared to be intact.

“I expected ‘Lethal Weapon 4' car-in-the-living-room,” Peters said. “I'm so lucky to be alive.”

Peters said he has never had brake problems with his vehicle, and he has never been involved in an accident.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@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.