EMERICKVILLE — A truck crashed into a house near Emerickville around midnight Monday trapping a family in the upstairs of their home.
Jefferson County 9-1-1 received a call around 12:15 a.m. on Monday reporting that a truck had crashed into a house along Route 322. Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Jefferson County EMS, and LifeFlight were dispatched to the scene. The Punxsutawney based State Police responded as well.
Shawn Miller owns the home that was struck by the truck. Miller, his wife, Amber, their two children, and their niece were all in the house at the time of the accident.
The driver of the truck was going toward Reynoldsville from Brookville at the time of crash. The driver left the road, went through a neighbors yard, and ramped Miller’s driveway. This sent him airborne, and into a guidewire, ripping the electric box from the house.
The family woke to the sound of the initial impact with the wire, which caused a ‘boom’ that was quickly followed by impact with the house.
“It was the scariest thing to wake up to at 12 in the morning. The shake like an earthquake, the smell, the dust, everything involved was horrifying,” said Katrina Miller, the couple’s niece.
The driver hit the front corner of the home, which is where the stairs connecting the first and second floors are located. This trapped the family in the upstairs of the home.
“My wife was yelling to ask what happened, and didn’t even finish it and he was coming through the living room,” Miller said.
He and his wife gathered the family together and quickly realized they couldn’t get down the stairs. Amber Miller was worried about the smell of gasoline, so Shawn found another way out.
Miller eventually climbed out the window of his son’s room, and onto the roof of his back porch, then jumped down to get a ladder for the rest of his family. At the same time his niece was contacting 9-1-1 and his wife was calling neighbors for help.
The driver was able to climb out of the wreckage, and came to help the rest of the family down the ladder.
“Once we were all together, we all bowed our heads and said a prayer, because that was all we could do,” Miller said.
He commended the Pinecreek Fire Department for their quick response time, saying the first member on scene was there within minutes. His neighbors also came rushing to help when they heard the noises. One neighbor rushed to his house before the driver had even gotten out of the truck, and another took his children away from the scene.
The house was deemed unlivable, and the family has been staying at a neighbor’s house. The Red Cross is assisting. The family is allowed to take their belongings out of the house which Miller said was lifted about eight inches off the foundation, and the foundation was cracked from the impact.
None of the family were injured, but the driver suffered serious injuries and was taken from the scene by LifeFlight. The family has asked friends to pray the driver and his recovery.