- COMMUNITY LINKS
Like a 40-ton missile, a fully-loaded log truck careened out-of-control Saturday morning and sliced into a wood-frame house on Route 66 in the Ten Commandments area just south of Kane.
Miraculously, the truck driver and four people inside the house were not seriously injured.
The truck driverâ€”Thomas L. Jashurek, 39, of Kaneâ€”was taken from the scene by Emergycare ambulance and immediately placed on a medical helicopter at the landing pad at Kane Community Hospital.
He was flown to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie where he was admitted. He was listed in â€śstableâ€ť condition at the hospital as of Sunday afternoon. State Police reported that Jashurek sustained â€śmoderateâ€ť injuries.
There were four people in the Bruce Peterson residence at 5976 Route 66 in Wetmore Township when the two-story house was struck about 9:15 a.m. Saturday. No one inside was seriously injured, State Police said.
The occupants included Peterson, his wife Debbie, their 26-year-old daughter, Ashley Peterson and a 2-year-old granddaughter, Kianna Jones. Peterson and his granddaughter, who will turn three years old next month, were together in an upstairs bathroom brushing their teeth when the house was hit.
Members of the Kane Volunteer Fire Department used a ladder to rescue Peterson and his granddaughter from the second floor of the severely-damaged structure.
Ashley Peterson and her mother were on the first floor at the time of the impact. When the heavy truck crushed the first floor, Ashley ended up in the basement beneath the truck and had to crawl out through debris. Debbie Peterson ended up in the kitchen and was freed.
Emergycare ambulance transported the women to Kane Community Hospital with â€śminor injuries,â€ť State Police said. They were â€śtreated and released,â€ť police said.
After the impact with the north side of the house, the truck came to rest inside with about a third protruding outside. The south side of the house was buckled out by the jarring impact and was left barely standing.
The real drama began when Kane Fire Chief Tim Holt and several other brave volunteer firefighters cautiously entered the splintered-filled unstable house to extricate Jashurek, who was pinned inside the cab of the heavily-damaged truck.
Holt said the rescue team could hear creaking sounds from unstable wood as they worked to free the truck driver. He said the log truck's loader-- called a "cherry-picker"-- and the load of logs kept the second floor from crashing down.
Using special tools, the firefighters removed the passengerâ€™s side door to reach Jashurek, who was â€śconscious, but disoriented,â€ť Holt said. Firefighters had to remove the passengerâ€™s side seat and shear off foot pedals to free the driverâ€™s feet, Holt said.
The fire chief estimated that it took 45 minutes to free Jashurek. Bruce Peterson believes it took even longer to extricate Jashurek.
Firefighters placed the injured driver on a backboard and removed him from the shattered house to a waiting ambulance, Holt said.
State Police Trooper Doug Wolbert, who investigated the incident, said in his report that Jashurek was wearing a "lap and shoulder belt."
Because the house was considered a total loss and in a hazardous condition, Chittester Excavating of Kane was called to complete the demolition of the building. Bruce Peterson said the remainder of his house fell down just after it was "barely touched" by the excavation equipment.
Chittester also lifted the logs off the truck, which was towed by Portville, N.Y. Towing. Another log truck arrived and picked up the logs to remove them from the scene.
The log truck driven by Jashurek left a path of destruction in its wake before coming to rest inside the Peterson house.
According to State Police, Jashurek was traveling south on Route 66 when the truck â€śfor unknown reasonsâ€ť veered left across the northbound lane onto the east side of the highway, about 8/10ths of a mile south off Old Mill Road and Jo-Jo Road in the Ten Commandments area of Wetmore Township.
According to police, the out-of-control truck:
*Traveled off the roadway for 81 feet before striking and shearing off a West Penn Power utility pole near a residence at 5986 Route 66. Part of the pole and wires dangled until a crew came to remove them and erect a new pole.
*Traveled another 38 feet in a southeasterly direction before striking an unoccupied parked 2008 Chevrolet Impala. The car spun clockwise for 22 feet before coming to rest near the side of the Jim Morgan residence at 5980 Route 66. Morgan said this vehicle appeared to be heavily damaged and had to be towed from the scene. The police report does not identify the owner of the parked car.
*Traveled another 32 feet and struck the front porch and entryway at the Morgan residence. The impact caused severe damage to the structure. The truck knocked over Morgan's flagpole near the highway, but somehow missed his road-side mailbox and two trees between the road and his damaged entryway.
*Traveled another 38 feet and struck the north side of the Peterson residence. Police said the truck â€śtraveled through the residenceâ€ť before coming to its â€śfinal restâ€ť inside.
Route 66 was closed to traffic between Old Mill Road/Jo-Jo Road and the top of the James City hill for more than seven hours.
Under a detour, Kane Fire Police sent southbound traffic east on Old Mill Road to Highland Road. The Highland Township Volunteer Fire Department Fire Police sent northbound traffic east on Lamont Road between the top of James City hill and Highland Road.
Crews from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) later took over duties to handle the traffic detours.