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Car crashes into Pa. house

January 15, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

MONT ALTO, Pa. - An airborne automobile landed in the living room of a Mont Alto couple's home early Wednesday after first hitting another house and a pickup truck.

"There's quite a lot of damage. We can't live in it," Mary Small, of 309 Park St., said Wednesday afternoon by telephone. "They said it will take a few months to fix."

Pennsylvania State Police said the accident happened at 1:15 a.m. when a westbound 1995 Dodge Neon driven by Adam Johnson of Philadelphia, Pa., ran off the road and went up a slight incline. The car took to the air and struck the front porch and corner of the home of Ruth and Dorothy Slaybaugh of 311 Park St.

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"That noise was like a bomb blast," Ruth Slaybaugh said. "You should have seen that. The car was on top of the pickup truck."

After hitting the Slaybaugh house, police said, the Neon continued through the air and landed on top of the back of a pickup truck in the carport of the Small home with the front end going through the brick wall into the living room.

"That was our son's pickup. It's demolished," said Mary Small, who lives in the house with her husband, Donald, and son, Rodney.

Police did not indicate if Johnson was injured. A Summit Health spokeswoman said no information on Johnson was available at either Waynesboro or Chambersburg hospitals.

District Justice David Hawbaker in Mercersburg, Pa., was on-call at the time of the crash, but an employee at his office said no charges had been filed against Johnson as of Wednesday afternoon.

Temporary repairs were being made to repair the gaping hole in the side of the Small house by the afternoon. The couple's living room furniture was sitting outside.

"It looks like a yard sale out there," Slaybaugh said.

Kathy McCardell of Greencastle, Pa., the Smalls' daughter, surveyed the damage Wednesday. She said she did not know how long it would be before her parents could return home.

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