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Seven charged with DUI

When an emergency medical technician (EMT) arrived at the single-vehicle crash scene on Gap Road in Washington Township about 7:49 p.m. on April 20, Christopher Lawrence Nelson, the driver, was sitting in a lawn chair as blood was coming from a laceration on his face, according to a state police affidavit.

Traveling at a high-rate of speed in a 2014 Ford Edge, Nelson, 34, of 218 Seminary St., Jersey Shore, failed to negotiate a curve, first striking a utility pole and then going through a fence, police said. A piece of the fence penetrated the windshield and struck Nelson in the face and head. When he got out of the car, he told a witness that “he did not want anyone to call for help or 911.

Someone did call, and firefighters and police soon arrived. While the EMT was treating Nelson, she detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from him, police said. When the EMT asked him how much he had had to drink, Nelson replied “lots, and lots and lots of shots,” the affidavit stated.

Inside the Edge, a trooper found an open half-empty beer can in the center console’s cup-holder, police said. During an interview at the UPMC Williamsport emergency room, Nelson admitted to a state trooper that he had been drinking and he “appeared to have several mood swings throughout” the conversation, the affidavit stated. “Most of Nelson’s face was covered in gauze and blood,” the trooper said, adding that he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the man. Charged with DUI and careless driving, Nelson, who had a blood-alcohol concentration level of .30, has been sent a summons to appear before a district judge.

In another case Danielle Smith, 24, of 236 Devils End Rd., Trout Run, was traveling along Route 220 in Muncy Township about 12:15 a.m. on Feb. 13 when her 2012 Nissan pickup truck became stuck in some mud, according to a state trooper, who stopped to assist her when he came upon her. When asked what happened, Smith told him she “had too many drinks and could not explain how her truck became stuck,” according to an affidavit. Smith’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and the trooper detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her, police said.

With a blood-alcohol concentration level of .19, Smith was charged with DUI and sent a summons to appear before a district judge.

In another case, Thomas William Boatman Jr., 34, of Benton, was found walking along Route 118 after his pickup truck struck a utility pole in the 600 block of Route 239 in Franklin Township about 11:40 p.m. on Feb. 26, according to a state police affidavit. It appears that he was able to drive the vehicle for another four miles before he abandoned it and began walking.

When a trooper came upon Boatman, he detected an odor of alcohol coming from him, court documents stated. Boatman admitted to having four alcoholic beverages before getting behind the wheel, police said. He had a blood-alcohol concentration level of .11, police said. Charged with DUI and careless driving, he has been sent a summons to appear before a district judge.

In another case, when a South Williamsport police officer stopped motorist Kenneth Ackley for traveling north in the 200 block of Market Street, which is a one-way southbound, about 9:20 p.m. on Feb. 26, he asked the driver how much he had to drink because there was a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the GMC Sierra.

“I probably had about five beers,” Ackley, 53, of 1008 Arthur Road, Montoursville, told the officer, according to an affidavit. He admitted to the officer that had just come from a bar, police said, adding that Ackley showed “signs of impairment” during a series of field sobriety tests. His blood-alcohol concentration level was .15, police said. Charged with DUI and a summary traffic violation, Ackley waived his preliminary hearing and is free on $5,000 bail.

In another case, Matthew Ciccarelli, 33, of 333 Tinsman Ave., who was driving a 2021 Mercedes-Benz, was stopped on the Maynard Street on-ramp to I-180 East in the city for numerous violations about 12:50 a.m. on July 29, 2021, state police said. “An odor of marijuana was coming from the vehicle,” a trooper wrote in an affidavit.

“Ciccarelli demonstrated signs of impairment” while undergoing a series of field sobriety tests, police said. He has been charged with DUI of a controlled substance, police said, adding that he refused to provide a blood sample.

In another case, when a Montoursville police officer stopped Jeffrey Lee Miller’s Ford Mustang near Broad and Arch streets about 11:15 p.m. on Aug. 25, the 37-year-old borough driver admitted to having “a few drinks” at a bar and said he was “a little impaired, but fine to be driving,” according to an affidavit.

The officer believed otherwise because Miller, of 20 S. Arch St., “staggered as he exited the vehicle and he spoke unclearly. I could barely understand him when he spoke,” the officer said.

“While looking at him, I saw that his eyes were red and glassy,” the officers added. Before the stop was made, the officer watched as Miller “overreacted” twice to parked vehicles and then made a wide turn as he came off Broad Street, the affidavit stated. It turned out that Miller’s driver’s license was already suspended due to a previous DUI conviction, police said. The driver refused to do field sobriety tests or submit a blood sample, police said. Charged with DUI and two summary violations, Miller is free on $10,000 bail.

In another case, driving a Toyota FJ Cruiser, Scott Bittle pulled out right in front of South Williamsport police cruiser as he turned onto Hastings Street from East Bluebird Alley about 9:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, forcing the officer to slam on his brakes to avoid a collision, according to an affidavit. Bittle, 47, of 432 Market St., South Williamsport, continued north, nearly striking another vehicle as he merged into the right travel lane, police said.

The officer stopped Bittle along the berm of the I-180 East on-ramp from the Market Street bridge in the city. ” There was a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle, and the driver’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy,” the officer said in the court document. When asked how much he had to drink Bittle replied “I really don’t know,” according to the affidavit. Charged with DUI and a summary traffic violation, Bittle, who had a blood-alcohol concentration level of .25, is free on $5,000 bail.

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