A church in Pennsylvania has been hit by five different runaway trucks over the past six years. This last time, the church roof collapsed on top of the trailer which had fallen into the basement.
Mount Harmony United Methodist Church in Somerset County has stood for 168 years. It sits just 10 yards off of route 160 at the bottom of Big Savage Mountain. Its small congregation had been kept out of the church since it was condemned last April after the fourth truck crash. A rig hauling steel rods lost control coming down the mountain and crashed into the church, but not through it.
Prior crashes had taken out trees that protected the church, then damaged the walkway, and finally struck the building itself.
After the April crash, the congregation was hoping to rebuild the church further back from the road using some of the materials from the old church including the stained glass windows. Unfortunately, the church and windows are now unsalvageable.
At around 12:20am early Monday morning, a tractor-trailer hauling sand lost control and plowed into the church. The trailer came to rest on its side in the church’s basement and the whole building collapsed on top of it. The driver was uninjured in the wreck.
Just last month, a construction company had begun making changes to Route 160 in order to make the area safer. The plan is to install traffic signage, erosion control, and build a truck pull-off area for runaway trucks. The work is expected to be completed by next November.