For the third time this year, David Christopher Rute got behind the wheel of a vehicle and crashed while he was suspected of being under the influence of heroin, according to court records.
State police is the latest law enforcement agency to charge the 27-year-old Milton motorist with driving under the influence of the controlled substance.
Police said blood test results revealed that Rute was under the influence of heroin when his pickup truck overturned on East Third Street and the Interstate 180 overpass in Loyalsock Township about 12:45 p.m. on Feb. 1.
When township volunteer firefighters arrived on the scene, Rute, trapped in the wreckage, was holding seven hypodermic needles in his hand.
Rute, who was not injured, was extricated from the truck and taken to the the county's DUI center to have his blood drawn. He admitted to using heroin just before the crash. A packet of heroin was discovered near the driver's seat. He is free on bail in this case.
City police already have charged Rute with driving under the influence of heroin stemming from a Jan. 5 crash when his pickup and a car collided in the 400 block of Pine Street, resulting in minor damage to the vehicles.
"He admitted to using heroin just prior to the crash," an officer said in an affidavit. Rute told police he has been "out of rehab just three weeks," police said. He is scheduled to have preliminary hearing in this case next month.
Rute is the same driver, city police said, who was behind the wheel of a Pontiac Vibe that plowed into the Woodlands Bank branch office at West Fourth and Arch streets about 2:30 p.m. on April 20.
Capt. Michael Orwig said Tuesday that a charge of driving under the influence of a controlled substance was pending against Rute in that case.