CLEARFIELD – More details have been released since a tractor-trailer crashed into a house last week in Clearfield.
According to reports from officials from the Lawrence Township Police and Fire Departments, at 5:51 p.m. July 30, a tractor-trailer struck a brick house at 201 Race St.
The tractor-trailer struck the side of the house, which is located in close proximity to Route 322 east and Route 153 south at the bottom of Rockton Mountain. The residents were not at home at the time of the crash.
Upon further investigation, police say it was found the driver traveled at a “high rate” of speed down the four lanes, attempted to negotiate a right-hand turn and traveled approximately 282 feet up over the median strip and across the westbound lane.
At this point, it sheared off a utility pole, then struck the retaining wall and house. The cab became detached from the trailer and it continued to travel through a fence, then overturned onto its roof and came to a rest against a small landscape of trees.
When it hit the side of the house, it became entrapped at the front of the house. The driver was “heavily entrapped” inside the cab of the truck and multiple fire companies, along with police and EMS crews, worked for an hour-and-a-half to free the driver.
The driver, Darryl L. Hill, 55, of Philadelphia, was taken to Penn Highlands Clearfield, then later flown to a nearby trauma center for two broken legs, possible broken ribs and other possible internal injuries.
“There was extensive damage done to the house,” police say, “… but nothing that deterred the structural integrity.” Damage was reported to fencing at an adjacent property and a vehicle parked nearby at Payonk Tree Services.
Residents in the area of the crash also said they were without power for several hours.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reported to police that a Hazmat spill occurred as a direct result of the crash and the trucking company will be responsible for costs associated with the clean-up.
Witnesses at the crash scene said the truck was hauling eggs.
DEP, along with police, will cite the driver and his company for the appropriate violations, as this crash occurred as a result of “speeding,” according to the police report.
This is not the first time a tractor-trailer has struck houses at this same location.
In July of 2007, a tractor-trailer hauling a load of bacon missed the pull-off on Route 322 at the top of Rockton Mountain, where drivers are required to pull over and put any heavy vehicles into low- or reduced-gear.
The driver missed the pull-off due to heavy traffic because Interstate 80 was closed due to an unrelated crash. The truck lost its brakes and struck three houses at the same Race Street location.
The truck sideswiped the first house, crashed through the second house and into the third house, where the cab became trapped inside the basement. It took rescue crews several hours to free the driver.