Mateusz Szymczak, 18, Woodlawn Avenue, Fairview Township, was pronounced dead at the scene of a head-on collision on Route 437 on Thursday, December 12.
According to police, the victim was ejected from his car after colliding with another vehicle on Route 437 between Kirby Ave. and Gracedale Ave. about 4:30 p. m. Szymczak was traveling south on Woodlawn in a Volkswagen sedan when he lost control of the car and veered into the southbound lane.
Fairview Township Police Chief Joe Intelicato reported Szymczak was ejected from his car. The driver of the northbound vehicle, Marisa Orloski, 27, also of Woodlawn Avenue, was entrapped and had to be extricated. Szymczak was not wearing a seat belt. Orloski was taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township with serious injuries, stated Intelicato.
The chief noted that no charges are expected, but State Police were conducting accident reconstruction to determine what caused Szymczak to lose control of the car. They were looking into whether speed or glare from the sun may have played a role, said Intelicato, since the road was clear of snow and ice. Intelicato explained that as the fire personnel were pulling up on the scene, they said the sun was at such an angle at that point that they could hardly see themselves. This time of year, when the sun is low in the sky, drivers need to compensate, noted the chief. +++++
Rice Township Police charged David Karchin, 1359 Blue Ridge Trail, Mountaintop with Driving Under the Influence on December 3, 2013.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause filed with the charges, on or about 1 p. m. November 11, 2013 Rice Patrolman Raymond Suda was dispatched to the area of Wheels Bar in Nuangola after a 911 caller reported an erratic driver with license plate FPC-3118 hit a mailbox and was heading toward Alden Mountain Road. The caller then reported that the vehicle then hit a stone wall and went into the other lane. Police were initially unable to locate the vehicle but observed a mailbox that had been knocked off of its post at 5122 Nuangola Rd and a black passenger mirror. Police called the license plate in and identified the driver.
Suda and Wright Patrolman Aaron Fromm went to the address listed with the license plane and found the vehicle in question with a person in the drivers side. Also observed inside the vehicle were two empty 24 oz. Mikes Hard Lemonade bottles and one empty 357ml Nikolai Vodka bottle on the floor of the passenger side of the vehicle in plain view.
Police tried to make contact with the person located in the vehicle and noticed he was hunched over sleeping. Upon awakening officers noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage and the defendant had blood shot glossy eyes and was slurring his speech. Officers gave Karchin take a portable breath test which resulted in an amount high over the legal limit of .08.
Karchin was taken to the Rice Township Police Station, where he agreed to submit to a chemical blood test. Karchin’s was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital, where tests indicated his blood alcohol level was 0.435. He was transported back to his residence.
Karchin is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Ron Swank on January 8, 2014 at 10:30 a. m.