Big Rig Flips, Comes Within Feet of Sleeping Family’s Home

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JESSUP -- Quite the wake-up call for a family in Lackawanna County when a tractor-trailer flipped just a few feet from their home.

It happened on a street in Jessup where big rigs are not allowed, and it's not the first time a tractor-trailer has crashed there.

Police in Jessup said that truck's brakes went out at some point going down the aptly named Hill Street. Then, it rolled over and nearly missed the home at the intersection of Hill Street and Constitution Avenue.

Big trucks are not allowed on Hill Street unless they are making local deliveries, and that's because other families in the past have not been as lucky.

Scott Carpenter and his family have a torn up lawn now, but know it all could have been much worse. A tractor-trailer bound for Canada mistakenly ended up in Jessup and then on its side in their front yard.

"It just sounded almost first like a crack of lightning, and that's when we looked out the window and saw what we saw," said Scott Carpenter.

What they saw was that tractor-trailer only feet away from the side of their home. A little more force, and the Carpenter's house could have had serious damage. The driver who was hauling laundry detergent to Canada wasn't hurt and told police he was lost.

Police said the truck driver's GPS lead him down Hill Street where trucks aren't allowed except for local deliveries. However, people in Jessup said the sign saying so isn't obvious enough.

"It's not signed sufficiently so that a lost truck driver can readily understand where he needs to go. It's my understanding that the big trucks are not supposed to go down Hill Street," said Joe Caterina of Peckville.

Caterina and his friends at Cousin's Convenient Mart just down the street said they see big rigs going down Hill Street all too often.

The truck restriction was stiffened after two tractor-trailers crashed into homes in the 1980's. Those homes on the top of Hill Street and another hit in 1994 were destroyed. The latest crash happened near the bottom of Hill Street.

Ray Nick's home on Hill Street was destroyed in 1986 by a tractor-trailer.

"It was loaded with steel, it wasn't supposed to come down the hill, but this was with the old road now, when they had all those turns. It went right through the house," Nick said.

So, it's not lost on Nick just how lucky the Carpenter family is.

Jessup Police and Firefighters spent several hours Friday morning cleaning up the crash. Police said the tractor-trailer driver will be cited at least for having bad brakes.


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  • charlie

    Dont blame the gps. What did truck drivers do before gps? Now anymore all you here is truck drivers hitting bridges because their trailer is too high or crashing becuase they were going to fast. If the gps told you to go over a cliff where they say is a road, would you? Oh yeah and Jessup sure looks a lot like Canada, i can see why he got off there. Dumbass!


    The American Truck Driver is the Safest Driver on the Highways. The Major Media likes to highlight incidences that involve trucks. This guys GPS sent him down the wrong road, that simple people. Must have been a driver without a lot of experience and didn’t know the road. He said he was lost and it was dark. That make’s it difficult even for the regular driver that doesn’t know how to read a map. And then we have the nitwits that blame the Truck drivers. Yes this one is going to be held accountable.
    But for the last 30 years that I can remember where Trucks are involved in accidents with cars, it’s usually the car drivers fault. The trucker has to maintain a safe driving record to maintain his employment. Standards the average Nitwit knows nothing about when they run their mouths about Truckers. Like I said , Truckers are the Safest Drivers in America.
    Stupid people in cars using cell phones and texting cause 26% of all fatality accidents. Can you imagine all those stupid people going to the Pearly Gates with a cell phone in their hand.

  • mike

    We own a home on Hill st in Jessup and honestly see trucks going up and dow ALOT! But speed is not limited to the trucks-cars are just as guilty! You should ALL slow down!

    • Garett Phalen

      Well since the truck was headed to “Canada” it was equipped with a govenor which limits the speed to 90 km/h due to laws once you enter my country! all Trucks and work vehicles are forced to be limited here. Maybe if your government made some restrictions on work vehicles maybe there would be less morons on the loose in the states

  • Alex

    Truck drivers drive WAY to fast, most drivers cut of small little cars! Tractor Trailers flip way to many times then needed! Maybe if they started to slow down and stop being inconsiderate accidents like this wouldn’t happen. I know exactly where this house is and trucks go to fast down it. Not sorry about this post at all. Slow down, good thing no one was injured.

      • Jane

        And people like me are forced to suffer from truck drivers like you who ignore the basic physics principals and drive TOO CLOSE. I regularly have to suffer from semis driven within INCHES of my rear bumper because you don’t want to be cut off. If you and your ilk would make certain that there was all of the room required to stop properly in front of you, you would NEVER be “cut off” because there would be football fields of space in front of you. But instead, because you are too impatient and feel that you simply own the road, you and your ilk insist on driving a semi like you are driving a Fiat and fail to leave adequate space.

      • Rob

        all do respect to responsible truck drivers this isn’t towards you at all–you actually realize how many dump trucks and other construction vehicles I see roll through stop signs without coming to a complete stop at the bottom of a hill? 3 of them almost collided with me as I had the right of way. They can’t stop on a dime, but you STILL need to maintain control of your vehicle at all times this includes STOP signs. Your vehicles are alot heavier than ours and all it takes is for one of you guys in a hurry to get from A to B and peoples lives are changed forever. Food for thought folks.

  • Joe

    Most likely the brakes gave out. It’s a shame that WNEP neglected to inform its audience that this house is located at the bottom of a huge hill. By huge I mean about 5 miles long. This hill always has trucks “trucking” down it from PA Route 247 to the Valley View Business Park and the Casey Highway. There is even an emergency truck run off ramp that saw news in May 2013 when a truck needed to use it much like this one. [story linked below]

    Unfortunately, the truck might have lost its brakes after already passing the ramp. WHY IS THIS NOT MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE? Come on WNEP, step your game up!

  • Gerry

    You’re all jumping to conclusions and assuming too much. We do not know yet what has happened to the truck driver, maybe he or she had a medical condition that caused this, maybe another driver caused the driver to react, resulting in this accident. Like the others have said, these trucks do not stop like our cars do. Trying to stop 80000 pounds or more requires a lot more skill and effort for any driver. Let’s just wait and see what the Police investigation finds before making any judgements.

  • Wendy

    My husband is a truck driver and let me tell you it’s also the drivers of cars to. The stories he tells me are crazy. I have gone on several trips with him and I can tell you it’s not all about the truck drivers. You should all do the job these truck drivers do before you go and place blame on them.


    my husband is a truck driver and the stories he tells me of what people do behind the wheel or to other trucks it is a miracle there are not many more truck accidents out there

  • kron

    You don’t know what happened or what caused the accident,could have had a mechanical failure. if that was the case that driver did a spectacular job maneuvering that 72 ‘ 102 wide tractor and trailer that weighs 80000 lbs as to minimize damage and injuries. If he did something unsafe then he does not belong in a truck.
    guys its everyone’s job to be safe out there.give plenty of room don’t tail gate have respect, remember that’s not just a vehicle they are people , husbands wife’s sons daughters baby’s. don’t assume a tractor trailer can get out of your way. like i said 72’ long 102 wide 80000 lbs that vehicle cant move fast but you can give them room please for your safety and everyone else s!
    Its like me being on a jet ski and thinking an ocean liner should move out of my way!



    • citizenband

      Im so tired of every one putting down the trucker you people putting him down obviously have no clue what its like to be on the road its my experience 90% of the time its you four wheels causing the crashes so if any one needs to slow down its you stop reading the paper while driving stop putting on your make up or tying your ties as your going down the road and then blame the trucker when something happens

      • CCKM

        I have to agree as we have had to do alot of long-distance traveling over the last 8 years due to our of state moves and visits with family and so on. It’s usally cars that are the problem, especially since many drivers still talk on cell phones doing 70 mph! have found overall that truck drivers are being safe and watchful, as well as being hard workers. Wouldn’t want their job. The only real danger I have experienced with them was with ONE tractor-trailer, a woman no less! Cutting us off and doing the dance of death back and forth between lanes for miles. We called her in and reported her plates. And bus drivers, (they’re the worst!), and drivers of smaller trucks…dunno why…. It’s no secret however that many truckers are often on speed of one form or another to keep awake. And while that generally doesn’t affect reflex or judgement, it can put you in a “zone.” I know because my spouse has MS, and has to take provigil for be alert when necessary and while he functions better, I can see where he might zone and it will impair his judgement in another way.

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