MOUNT CARMEL - Police are investigating if the brakes failed on a tractor-trailer entering the borough from the Merriam Mountain before it crashed into a four-door sedan Sunday at Sixth and Hickory streets.

A Mitsubishi Galant driven by Paul Radzai, 57, of 317 S. Oak St., Mount Carmel, was struck on its passenger side as it traveled east on Sixth Street about 4:35 p.m.

The impact sent the sedan spinning in a northwest direction. It struck a dry-rotted tree trunk and a stop sign, preventing it from smashing through a metal fence and potentially into the front porch of 250 N. Hickory St.

Radzai was confined inside the vehicle. He was helped out by emergency personnel and was conscious as he was treated on scene by paramedics. He was taken by AREA Services ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, and was still being treated in the emergency room late Sunday evening, according to a nursing supervisor.

David Davis, 25, of Baltimore, Md., was driving the Swift Transportation Co. rig north on Hickory Street. It had Sam's Club decals on its trailer. He stopped it a block away beyond Fifth Street.

Davis and an unidentified female passenger were not injured, police said.

There were no brake marks on the street, although firefighters on scene said the air smelled badly of burned brakes and transmission fluid when they first arrived. Debris including bits of glass from the Galant was found halfway down the 200 block of Hickory Street.

The front-end of the tractor-trailer sustained minor damage to its bumper and driver-side side step.

Both vehicles were towed.

Borough patrolmen Matthew Dillman and Justin Stelma investigated. Volunteers of the Mount Carmel Fire Department swept up the vehicle debris and what was left of the splintered tree trunk, and also cleaned up spilled fluids.