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Alleged intoxicated driver faces several charges related to crash

When state Trooper Michael Adams stepped into the back of a ambulance to speak with injured motorist Aaron Crawford, he “immediately smelled a strong a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” coming from the 39-year-old driver, according to court records.

Adams, just minutes into his shift, had been dispatched to routes 405 and 442 in Muncy Creek Township to investigate crash in which Crawford’s 2002 GMC Sierra pickup truck ran a red light and collided with a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Laura James, 28, of Milton, about 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 24.

James suffered a concussion and facial injuries while two passengers in her SUV, including an infant, suffered minor injuries. All three were taken to UPMC Williamsport.

Crawford, of 433 Gearhart Road, Muncy, also suffered injuries, but Adams had a moment to question him briefly in the ambulance before it left the scene.

“Crawford’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy. He was verbally combative with EMS (ambulance) workers and he tried to exit the ambulance. He pulled off his neck brace over his head and told the EMS workers to ‘(expletive) off.’ He refused to acknowledge my presence or answer my questions,” Adams said in an affidavit.

At UPMC Williamsport, Crawford continued to be verbally abusive to the medical staff that was trying to treat him, screaming crude language and racial slurs, Adams said. At one point, Crawford told the medial staff he was going to “bust their jaws,” the trooper said.

Crawford refused to voluntarily provide a blood sample, forcing Adams to obtain a court-ordered search warrant whereby police could obtain a blood sample from Crawford while he was being treated for his injuries.

The sample revealed that at the time of the crash, Crawford’s blood-alcohol content level was .19, and marijuana and the drug lorazepam were in his system, Adams said.

Crawford was arraigned late Wednesday afternoon on felony aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, DUI of alcohol and controlled substances, three counts of recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was released on $25,000 bail.

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