ARNOLD (KDKA) — Two people were injured when a vehicle crashed into a home in Westmoreland County this morning.
The accident happened just before 10:40 a.m. at the intersection of Leishman and Murray avenues in Arnold.
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The entire vehicle traveled into the home. It crashed through the front door, took out a staircase and ended up in the kitchen.
“Care came down the hill, failed to stop, traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Arnold Fire Chief Chris O’Leath.
“And when I came out, there was like this big cloud of smoke and we went up, we could hear them screaming,” said neighbor Cynthia Headen.
Alicia Phillips went in pulling two young children to safety.
“The kids were fine,” she said. “They were huddling with their mom. They weren’t that hurt, we’re praying for the mom. The mom was hurt pretty bad.”
The car could be seen coming out of a backside wall of the home.
Medical helicopters were called to the scene along with police and paramedics.
The driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Inside the home, 42-year-old Sherry Ashbaugh and her children were inside at the time of the crash.
The children were not hurt, but Ashbaugh was taken to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment. However, she’s since been treated and released for a chipped tooth and cut to her ear.
“It’s OK, they’re OK,” said Ashbaugh’s sister, Danielle Simak. “My sister’s alive.”
She reportedly became trapped after the car hit her. After that, she became trapped under walls that were knocked down by the impact.
“I could smell the plaster, it was the whole ceiling, there was plastic over — I had to pull that over and then I saw the car right in front here and I just, all I could think about was getting to my kids,” Ashbaugh said. “And I just pushed myself and stood up and climbed over all the debris.”
This wasn’t the first time a car’s crashed into Ashbaugh’s home — a similar incident happened just last summer.
“But she had a pond in front of her house,” Simak said. “That stopped the car.”
Neighbors say they’ve complained about the lack of barriers. But Mayor Larry Milito says that’s going to change soon.
“I’ve lived up in this town my whole life and obviously it is a dangerous hill,” he said.
The driver of the car, Richard Swiklinski, believed to be in his 60s, was also injured — but it’s unclear how badly.
There have reportedly been other accidents on this area of road in the past.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.