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'Freak accident' kills two young children, injures four others

Updated: Monday, June 23 2014, 09:51 PM EDT

By: Maria Miller

CONEMAUGH TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It was an absolutely horrific scene in Somerset County when a tree crashed down on a car Monday afternoon, killing two children who were inside. Two other children were hurt, so was their mother who was pregnant, and a man who was driving. At last check they were all at the hospital.

Investigators are calling it a freak accident.

"In my 23 years, I've never had anything like this," said Conemaugh Township Police Chief Louis Barclay.  "A large tree from the hillside dislodged, came down on top of the vehicle causing the vehicle to cross over in the north bound lane, impacting with a telephone pole."

It happened around 2:30 Monday afternoon along Tire Hill Road in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County.

The tree, snapped at its roots, was still lying across the road as emergency personnel worked to remove the passengers -- a presumed father, a pregnant mother and four young children, two of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

"To have two young children in the same family, it has to be horrendous on the parents," Barclay said. "I can't even imagine."

"I heard this cracking sound and then I heard a big noise and then a bigger noise," said Nena Overman. "My first instinct was to run. I just took off."

Overman was on her front porch when she heard the crash. As a former fire fighter herself, she ran towards the accident to help, without even thinking twice.

"She was very hysterical, crying and screaming... I saw kids running around... Crying screaming," Overman said. "I walked up on the back side of the car and she kept saying, 'get my children, get my children out,' and I had attempted to see if I could help but it was a little more involved than what I'm able to do."

The section of roadway was shut down for at least five hours as the car was draped in blankets and tarps while investigators and the coroner worked to remove the small bodies. It's a tragic accident that will no doubt be engraved in the minds of those who tried to help.

"The EMS... God bless their souls. They had a hard time dealing with it when they got on scene," Barclay said. "They had a hard time dealing with it and I can understand. It was ugly."

"It brought back a lot of memories of why I don't do it as much as what I used to," Overman said.

'Freak accident' kills two young children, injures four others

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times