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Semi loaded with cars crashes into Pine Grove Mills home, injuring 1

Firefighters were on the scence of tractor-trailer crash Saturday morning in Pine Grove Mills. The truck crashed into Kline’s Garage and the house next door when the driver tried to turn left onto Pine Grove Road from state Route 26.
Firefighters were on the scence of tractor-trailer crash Saturday morning in Pine Grove Mills. The truck crashed into Kline’s Garage and the house next door when the driver tried to turn left onto Pine Grove Road from state Route 26. CDT photo

A woman was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center with a shoulder injury after a tractor-trailer hauling cars drove into a duplex Saturday morning.

A man diving the semi was heading north and downhill on McAlevys Fort Road, and attempted to make a left turn onto Pine Grove Road when he veered into Kline’s Garage, 107 W. Pine Grove Road, and the duplex next door, said Ferguson Township police Officer Mike Lamb.

“He told us his brakes went out,” Lamb said.

Inspectors were at the scene trying to determine whether there had been a malfunction, Ferguson Township police Sgt. Robert Glenny said.

He did not say if the driver would be ticketed or charged, or where the driver was headed at the time of the crash.

The truck was carrying about a dozen Audi and Hyundai vehicles.

The semi had a sign on it that said “Jet Blast,” an auto transportation company based out of Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The intersection was closed to eastbound traffic for at least six hours.

Police said the accident was reported at 8:21 a.m.

Pine Grove Mills resident David Hatcher said he was walking his dog about a quarter of a mile away when he heard the crash.

“It just sounded like a metal-to-metal screech,” he said. “I knew exactly what it was, so I put the dog in the house and walked down here to see.”

Other residents said this wasn’t a surprise.

“This isn’t the first time this happened,” said Ellis Dunklebarger, who lives across the street from the crash site.

In 2006, a tractor-trailer lost its brakes while traveling down the mountain and crashed through Kline’s Garage, killing David Carson, a customer at the garage.

That sparked the proposal of a $2.4 million safety project that would add another runaway truck ramp to the mountain.

Mark Kline, owner of Kline’s Garage, was on the scene, but declined to comment on Saturday’s crash.

Fire officials leveled the house while the semi was being towed, to limit the possibility of a collapse, said Svend Pedersen, Alpha Fire Company duty chief and safety officer.

He added that a crane also removed the vehicles from the top of the truck.

“Now we just need to take care of the people the best we can,” Pedersen said.

Ferguson Township police, Centre LifeLink EMS and Alpha responded to the scene. The Red Cross is also assisting residents.

Caroline Fye, of the Red Cross, said they would assess the damage and provide temporary living assistance to the two people who lived in the duplex.

Pedersen said the owner of the home was out of town at the time of the accident. The two residents are renting the property, he said.

Officials did not release the names of those involved.

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