Brighton Township, Pennsylvania Fire Vehicle Slams House

Agnes Harper was sick Monday but went to work anyway. She came home dead tired and all she wanted to do was take a shower, go to bed and watch television.


BRIGHTON TOWNSHIP, PA -- Agnes Harper was sick Monday but went to work anyway. She came home dead tired and all she wanted to do was take a shower, go to bed and watch television.

She wouldn't get her wish.

While responding to a house fire at 53 Walnut St., a Brighton Township Volunteer Fire Department Ford Expedition skidded off the road and slammed into her bedroom, ripping out a wall before heading into the spare bedroom of a next-door neighbor.

"I just came out of the shower," Harper said, curlers still in her hair. "It sounded like a transformer exploding."

Her granddaughter, Ronnett Harper, said when she heard firetrucks coming down the street, she went outside to see what the fuss was about.

That's when she saw the fire department SUV plow into her grandmother's house, next door to her own.

"I started screaming bloody murder. He went right into my grandmother's house," she said. "It was like something out of a movie. I thought he was going to stop."

Brighton Township police Cpl. Nick Bernardi said the firefighter driving the SUV, David Nichter, was passed out when it skidded into Agnes Harper's house at 90 Walnut St. When emergency responders reached him, he was in cardiac arrest and taken to The Medical Center, Beaver, he said.

Bernardi said Nichter remained in critical condition Monday night.

Tom Main, who also lives next door to Agnes Harper, on the opposite side from her granddaughter, said that his spare bedroom was a mess before the SUV smashed into it, and that it's just embarrassing now.

"I'm just glad (Agnes) wasn't in bed," he said.