Truck hits porch, car overturns in weekend crashes

BIG RUN — A Clymer man and a passenger were injured when their vehicle struck a house at 3:55 a.m. Sunday on Route 119, Big Run.

According to Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police, a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Robert Vincent Neese, 30, Clymer, was traveling south, when he drove off the east side of the roadway and struck the guard rails.

Police said as a result of striking the guard rail, the truck went air-borne and struck the porch of a house owned by Tom Berryhill of Big Run, which is located along the east side of Route 119.

Berryhill said he was sleeping in the front bedroom when he was awakened with a loud crash, and he knew immediately that someone had struck the house.

"I ran downstairs and turned on the porch light, and the pickup truck was almost on my front porch where the steps go down," Berryhill said, adding that he checked to see if the driver and passenger were alright and called 9-1-1 and reported the accident.

Berryhill, who has lived at this address for 30 years, said this wasn't the first time his porch was struck by a vehicle.

"Jan. 15, 1988, was the last time (my house) was struck and damage (occurred to) the porch deck, which was replaced," he said. "Prior to 1988, my was house struck on three other occasions."

Berryhill said it was after the crash in 1988 that the flashing traffic signal was installed to alert motorists to the sharp 90-degree turn on Route 119.

Police said Neese and a passenger, Toni Lee Harvery, 27, Homer City, were both transported to Punxsutawney Area Hospital to be treated for injuries.

According to police, Neese was determined to be DUI, and charges are pending.

Police were assisted at the scene by Big Run Area Volunteer Fire Department and Brosius Towing.

In a separate crash at 10:10 p.m. Saturday, police said two people suffered minor injuries after a vehicle flipped over along Route 119 in Henderson Township, near Smyers Street.

Police said Mary D. Baer, 24, Brockport, was traveling south on Route 119 and was negotiating a right curve when she lost control of the 1999 Ford Taurus she was driving.

The car traveled off the roadway and onto the right side berm, striking an embankment and traveling about 20 feet before overturning onto its roof and landing on the paved right side of the berm, according to police.

Police said the car traveled about 25 feet on its roof, coming to rest on the right side berm on its roof facing west.

Baer and a passenger, Dessa M. Fyock, 36, Punxsutawney, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Punxsutawney Area Hospital by Jefferson County EMS, while two minor passengers, ages 15 and six, were not injured, police reported.

Police said no one in the car was wearing a seatbelt, and Baer was cited for driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed.