- Man charged in N. Rosina Ave. home invasion
- Sale of Conemaugh Health System to Duke LifePoint is final
- Two home invasions reported hours apart in Somerset
- Man falls off Somerset Co. roof during storm
- Local coal leaders discuss coal market, economy and sustainability
- Kitten rescued from Somerset Co. drain
- Somerset farm growing pink pumpkins for breast cancer awareness
- Man serving time for stabbing daughter dies in Somerset prison
- Friedens man killed when dirt bike collides with van
- Group hopes to help families who lost a child
- Children and adults with disabilities participate in summer camp
- Celebrating and reflecting: Quecreek Mine Rescue 12 years later
- Golden eagle rehabbed, released back into wild
- Family fed up with turnpike motorists using backyard as bathroom
- Car ditched in Rockwood Borough reported stolen in Illinois
- Ohio man found shot near turnpike in Somerset killed himself
- No foul play in death of Windber man hit by train
- Man killed in Somerset Co. ATV accident
- Freight train strikes, kills Somerset Co. man
- Russia's Severstal selling US plants for $2.3B
- Somerset Trust bank president proud of community
- Somerset Co. man fighting blight in neighborhood
- Camp helps kids with diabetes overcome obstacles, make new friends
- Somerset County fire department improves fire protection rating
- 6 local airports receiving funding
- Canadian company buys PBS Coals
- Somerset Co. woman on probation in child cancer fundraiser scam
- Local V.F.W. asking for donations for care packages
- Strong storms cause damage in Somerset Co.
- Arborist points to hundreds of reasons trees fall
- Body found along Turnpike in Somerset Co.
- Meyersdale blaze ruled arson, plagues problems for borough
- Crews battle late night fire in Somerset Co.
- Flames, smoke swarm Meyerdale building
- Man injures officers after allegedly drinking and driving
- Somerset Co. man facing additional charges
- Firefighters battle blaze at Somerset Co. home
- Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown selling bishop's home
- Family of crash victim asking for prayers
- People in Conemaugh Twp. say rotted trees have always been a problem
- Police identify victims after Monday's fatal crash
- 'Freak accident' kills two young children, injures four others
- 2 children killed, 4 others injured in 'freak' accident
- Somerset Co. roadway closed due to fatal crash
- Somerset Co. fire department bringing back holiday celebration
- Man from Somerset Co. missing, found
- Walking in her shoes raises awareness for domestic violence
- Windber baby dies 20 days after mother is shot
- Somerset Co. baby dies weeks after emergency delivery after mother was shot
- Somerset Co. man recalls rescue following Chilean miners' viral video
- 29th annual WJAC-TV Donor Day underway
- Woman looks past disability, adopts injured dog from shelter
- Police: Bold burglar walks past victims to steal items
- Commission OKs another boost in Pa. Turnpike tolls
- Residents in Somerset Co. could lose lake as resource
- Annual Miners Fest held in Somerset Co.
- Accident in Somerset Co. has one person flown to hospital
- Evacuation in place for residents in part of Somerset Co.
- Hearing continued for man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend
- Crews searching for missing man at Ohiopyle State Park
- Somerset Co. business equipment damaged
- Man accused of killing girlfriend explains it as an accident
- Baby delivered despite mother's death
- Man accused of stealing from business he worked at
- Woman shot and killed in Somerset Co.
- United Way gives grants to 25 agencies for 2014-2015
- Rockwood home damaged after grill catches fire
- Windber Fire members complete 'cold water challenge' for charity
- Police: Pickup truck loses brakes, smashes into police cruiser
- Students honor past band director with final march
- Somerset Co. teacher teaching students to make a difference
- Windber Fire Department and Northern EMS get new equipment
- Fed up neighbors look to take back town with watch group
- Battling prescription drug trafficking an ongoing effort
- Several area schools score high on state performance profile
- Church honors those who fought in Civil War
- Stepfather allegedly stabs son after argument
- Father Lewandowski suspended due to sexual allegations with minor
- Father Lewandowski suspended due to sexual allegations with minor
- Project hopes to feed the hungry and employ wounded warriors
- Hillshire deal means new Snyder of Berlin owner
- Ham, ice cream stolen from Somerset Co. store
- Officials hope Indian Lake refills in time for boating season
- Corbett visits Somerset Hospital to celebrate grant
- Facility for overweight children to open in Windber
- Push Out the Pusher: Community asked to help combat drugs
- $11K in gold found during Turnpike vehicle search
- Officials: Heroin that caused 12 overdoses did not contain fentanyl
- Greene Co. prison escapee captured in Somerset Co.
- SCI Greene escapee returns to Somerset County over the weekend
- Music program cut from Somerset Co. school
- Man killed after concrete barrier falls on him
- Man serving time for Somerset Co. thefts escapes from corrections center
- The 9th Congressional District candidates face off
- Car show in Somerset Co. benefits Boys and Girls Club
- Three arrested for allegedly having drug paraphernalia
- Police: Alleged heroin supplier turns himself in
- Police searching for man who allegedly sells
- Somerset Co. man jailed on charges he stalked ex-witness
- 12 heroin overdoses in 72 hours linked to same batch
- Two trucks collide, close Somerset Co. roadway
- Man sentenced in death of Somerset Co. baby
- Somerset Welfare League hosts annual jewelry bash
- Somerset Co. man prompts manhunt Thursday night
- Volunteers planting trees at Flight 93 site
- Judge rules against Somerset Co. district in coal tax case
- USS Somerset arrives in San Diego port
- Threat of dirty needles cancels Meyersdale egg hunt
- ACRP anniversary has cofounders enthusiastic
- Another bust on PA turnpike nets 160 bricks of heroin
- Windber girl thanked for willingness to help, include others
- No injuries reported after train, tractor-trailer collide
- Propane truck crashes, forces evacuation of western Md. town
- Train, tractor-trailer collide in Somerset
- Woman pleads guilty to misdemeanor after stealing from girl with cancer
- Memorial set up in Somerset Co. Park
- 2 arrested, $30K in heroin seized along turnpike in Somerset Co.
- Century-old building, home burned in early morning fire
- Allegheny Adventure Expo planned for Johnstown area
- NJ fugitive arrested in Boswell after 2 decades on the run
- Somerset Co. bank robbed
- Windber student sends caring message to classmates on playground
- Victims of sexual abuse encouraged to speak out
- Accident on PA Turnpike sent one worker to the hospital
- Nonprofit organization distributing 40,000 books
- Sage's Army talks heroin addiction to Somerset students
- Judge: Flight 93 site correctly valued by panel
- Man who killed himself had history of indecent exposure
- Hospital adding child advocacy center for victims of abuse
- Good Samaritan: 'I'm no hero'
- Bedford Co. turnpike closure planned
- Victims in Cambria Co. attempted murder-suicide identified
- Police: Investigation now an attempted homicide-suicide
- Police remain on scene of Cambria Co. shooting, standoff
- Somerset Co. house destroyed in fire
- Three people escape Somerset Co. house fire
- Stoystown man accused of brutally beating Marine
- Man leads police on high-speed chase in Somerset Co.
- Conemaugh Health System announces partnership with Tennessee-based company
- Conemaugh Health System to announce partnership
- 14-year-old assaulted in Somerset Walmart
- Two people killed in Somerset crash
- Maple tour successful, according to organizers
- State education funding highlighted in Cambria Co. hearing
- Somerset Co. teachers settle gender bias suit
- Police: Woman allegedly steals $2,000 from Hidden Valley Ski Shop
- One injured in train-car crash in Somerset Co.
- USS Somerset commissioned Saturday
- 7 kilos of raw heroin seized on PA Turnpike
- Fire crews battle flames at Somerset Co. building
- Navy preparing to commission USS Somerset
- Thousands generated from lodging tax, distributed to Somerset businesses
- Heroin: A story of grief and hope
- Somerset Co. mobile food bank provides meals from a trailer
People in Conemaugh Twp. say rotted trees have always been a problem
Updated: Tuesday, June 24 2014, 10:22 PM EDT
By: Maria Miller
CONEMAUGH TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Those who were first at the scene of a terrible accident in Somerset County Monday afternoon are still emotional as everyone tries to understand how and why such a tragedy could happen.
It's been just one day since a tree fell onto a car traveling along Tire Hill Road in Conemaugh Township. The car then slammed into a utility pole. Two children were killed.
"You're always asking questions, but you never get the answers," said Adam Trabold, a paramedic with Conemaugh Township EMS and one of the first responders on scene.
The young victims have been identified as Macayla Freiwald, 6, and her sister Ryleigh Freiwald, 8. Two of their sisters were also hurt, as well as their pregnant mother, Ashley Lichty, and her boyfriend, Jason Himebaugh. Both of them remain in serious condition at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.
On Tuesday night, 6 News talked with Himebaugh's mom, who said her family is shattered and in desperate need of prayers.
"Pray for my son and my daughter-in-law and granddaughter that is still here. And my babies that we lost," said Carole Varner.
Earlier Tuesday, 6 News spoke with Adam Trabold, who tried his very best to save lives.
"I was the only paramedic. I tried to triage the patients as best I could," Trabold said. "This was one of the worst accidents I've seen in a long time."
Investigators said all indications point to it just being a freak accident. They said the tree was rotten at its roots, which caused it to fall.
Anyone who has ever been on Route 403 knows the road is surrounded by trees on both sides. People in the area 6 News talked with said rotting trees have been a problem for a long time now. One woman even talked about a tree crashing down on her windshield just last year.
"I just want people to know that this is not a one-time freak accident," she said.
The woman didn't want to show her face, but she did want to talk about what happened to her last year just up the road in the same township as Monday's accident.
"I was going like 30 mile an hour, I had my window open, it was a sunny day and I heard crack," said the woman. "I thought, 'What the heck is that,' and in an instant this log came crashing through my windshield and scattered glass all over my lap and my arm."
The woman said she was taken to the hospital by ambulance with only minor injuries but was told it could have been much worse.
"The EMT gentleman told my husband, 'Oh my God, do you have any idea how fortunate your wife is? If that tree had been back another foot, we'd be putting her in a body bag and not an ambulance."
"Every time I come up that way, I look and I see those trees leaning and I'm thinking that something's going to happen eventually and they're going to fall," said Leonard Russell.
Russell's daughter lives in the house directly behind Monday's accident scene and told 6 News what happened is, unfortunately, something he's seen coming for years.
"This is the second time this has happened that I know of for sure," Russell said. "Two or three years ago, I was working here when a tree came down, almost in the same spot."
"I don't know who is responsible for it, but now two innocent children are dead. Someone needs to be held responsible," said the woman.
It was a freak accident but one some first responders, like Trabold, don't feel could have been prevented.
"I've always been a firm believer when it's your time to go, it's your time to go no matter what you do or what you say," Trabold said. "We're not here to play God. We can only attempt to save life when things happen, but we cannot play God and whenever he makes the decision, it's up to him."
6 News reached out to PennDot to see if it's investigating but only received this statement:
"Until we and investigators know more about the circumstances of this tragedy, we are reserving comment.”
6 News also spoke with several attorneys to see who might be at fault for the tree crashing down. All either pointed to the state because the tree was along a state route less than 15 feet away from road, in the "right of way." Other attorneys said the incident could be considered an "act of God," meaning no one is to blame because it's something that was out of human control.