April 1st thru April 7th in the year Two Thousand and Eighteen
Sunday April 7th, 2019Person jumps from vehicle, woman faces multiple charges
LE ROY, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Le Roy Police Department says 57-year-old Lorie A. Litolff faces multiple charges after a person jumped from her vehicle and she left the scene Saturday.
Police say they responded to the report of a subject in the roadway that was reported to have fallen from a vehicle in the area of 78 Lake Street around 5 p.m. Saturday.
Officers located a victim who appeared to have serious injuries, the victim was transported to a hospital via Mercy Flight due to the severity of their injuries, according to police.
During their investigation, officers were able to identify a vehicle that matched witness descriptions.
According to police that vehicle was registered to Litolff, she was later located at her residence.
Police believe Litolff and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation and the victim voluntarily exited the moving vehicle although it is unclear the speed the vehicle was traveling.
The victim fell after exiting, resulting in at least some of the injuries according to police.
Litolff fled the scene and failed to report the accident, police also determined she was operating the vehicle while intoxicated and had another individual blow into her interlock device so she could operate the vehicle.
Litolff faces the following charges:
Leaving the scene of a serious injury accident
Driving while intoxicated
Failure to report an accident with injuries
Violation of ignition interlock device
Failure to take breath test
Litolff was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and turned over to the Genesee County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
The victim's name has not been released at this time, there was no update on their condition as well.
Saturday, April 6th, 2019Driver in Schoharie limousine crash had marijuana in system
SCHOHARIE — The driver of a Ford Excursion limousine that crashed in Schoharie last October, killing 20 people, had a “significant” amount of marijuana in his system at the time he died, according to two people with knowledge of the driver’s post-mortem toxicology report.
The autopsy results also revealed that the driver, 53-year-old Scott T. Lisinicchia, had traces of anti-seizure medication in his body, one of the sources said.
The information is likely to be a focus in the defense of the criminal case pending against Nauman Hussain, Prestige Limousine's 28-year-old operator, who was charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide for allegedly failing to keep the vehicle properly maintained.
Since his arrest last year, Hussain has remained the target of a six-month criminal investigation that's being reviewed by a Schoharie County grand jury. The panel is scheduled to wrap up its work on Friday.
Lee C. Kindlon, Hussain's attorney, declined to comment for this story.
Neither the State Police, who are leading the crash investigation, nor District Attorney Susan J. Mallery, the prosecutor, have disclosed the information about the driver's toxicology report or other details of their investigation. The state attorney general's office is assisting in the case.
The potential impairment of Lisinicchia, who was killed along with 17 passengers and two bystanders, raises questions about the hurdles Mallery's office could face at any trial if her office pursues a prosecution focused on criminal negligence and mechanical failure — including faulty brakes — as the cause of the crash.
The sources said the toxicology report indicated Lisinicchia may have been a regular user of marijuana.
The driver's widow, Kim Lisinicchia, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. His brother, Keith Lisinicchia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The family's attorney, George N. Longworth of Westchester County, said the presence of any prescription drugs or marijuana that may have been found in Lisinicchia's system is "not necessarily an indication of impairment at the time of the crash."
Peter Gerstenzang, an Albany attorney who specializes in driver-impairment cases and provides training on that subject to law enforcement agencies, said that marijuana almost immediately begins to metabolize after use into a substance known as "carboxy." The metabolization of marijuana would stop if a person dies, but it can still be very difficult to determine from an autopsy whether a user was impaired at their time of death, he said.
In addition, questions may be raised about whether any anti-seizure medication, when mixed with marijuana, could have had an adverse effect on the driver's condition.
"There is this intervening cause of impairment by marijuana or the synergistic effects of the drugs, and/or a seizure," Gerstenzang said.
But "people who smoke all the time basically are not going to be exhibiting any physical effects," he explained, noting that most arrests of motorists for driving while impaired by marijuana are made when police officers smell an odor of marijuana emanating from the driver or their vehicle.
People briefed on the investigation said that prosecutors and police are pursuing a theory that a mechanical failure of the oversized 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was the primary factor in the crash, and that Hussain allegedly was aware the vehicle was unsafe in addition to being on the road illegally.
Mallery and the State Police did not respond to requests for comment about Lisinicchia's condition at the time of the crash.
Last November, the Times Union first reported that the condition of the Ford Excursion's brakes was a critical element of the ongoing criminal investigation. A person briefed on the statement of a witness said that moments before the crash, the limousine had pulled to the side of Route 30 and was rolling slowly forward on the shoulder with its backup lights and audible warning signal both on.
The witness continued driving down Route 30 and had stopped at the intersection of Route 30A when the limousine, its motor roaring like a jet engine, descended the hill at a high rate of speed.
Lisinicchia apparently swerved to avoid the witness' vehicle, and the limo careened across the intersection, killing two bystanders in the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store & Cafe before crashing into a ditch. The 18 people inside the vehicle, including Lisinicchia, were killed from the force of the impact, authorities said.
State records, including motor vehicle reports and Department of Transportation documents, indicate the stretch limousine was operating unlawfully at the time of the crash after having failed a series of inspections last year.
Less than two months before the crash, Lisinicchia was stopped by a state trooper in Saratoga Springs after transporting 11 people in the same limo. He was cited that month for operating the vehicle without a proper license, according to a police report obtained by the Times Union.
Hussain was made aware the day of the August traffic stop that Lisinicchia was not licensed to drive the large passenger vehicle. Hussain also was informed that the vehicle was not properly registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, as required.
Other records obtained by the Times Union last year confirmed that state Department of Transportation had inspected the vehicle two other times, in March and in early September, 10 days after the August traffic stop. During those inspections, investigators flagged numerous safety issues on the Excursion.
Lisinicchia had a CDL-A license that allowed him to drive trucks, but he lacked the additional permit needed to legally drive a vehicle capable of holding more than 15 passengers. The police record of the August traffic stop indicated that a supervising motor carrier investigator with DOT, Martin Duffy, went to the scene to assist and was made aware of the problems with the vehicle and the driver's credentials.
The trooper informed Lisinicchia he was "out of service" and not permitted to drive "any motor vehicle" for any commercial motor carrier until he obtained the proper permit. He was also ticketed.
The records obtained by the Times Union showed the vehicle was driven nearly 1,300 miles during the six-month period following the March 2018 inspection that found numerous safety and state transportation law violations.
In that March 21 roadside inspection in Saratoga Springs, inspectors found that the Excursion had defective brakes, while a hydraulic brake line was dangling and able to make contact with a tire. The other major issues cited were rear emergency exits that weren't operating properly, and the fact that the modified Excursion didn't have the proper federal certification label that should have been affixed after the SUV had been stretched.
The Westchester County law firm retained by Lisinicchia's family issued a statement last October saying the family was confident he would have been unaware of any mechanical deficiencies when he drove the vehicle on the weekend of the fatal crash.
Prestige Limousine is owned by Nauman Hussain’s father, Shahed Hussain, who was in Pakistan at the time of the crash and has not returned to the United States since then.
Friday, April 5th, 2019Director of drug/alcohol rehab center has recent alcohol-related arrests on his record
The leader of New Horizons Therapeutic Services, a drug and alcohol addiction rehab center in Montgomery County, has multiple arrests on his record, some just within the last year.
News Center 7’s Molly Koweek digs deeper into this case and why investigators did not charge him with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.Two police reports from Trotwood and Dayton incidents tell similar stories.Police say Terry Hill Jr., the executive director of New Horizons, was caught intoxicated while in control of a car. Not once, but twice in the past year.When Koweek went to the facility on North Main Street to speak with Hill, he shut the door.Hill later spoke over the phone, and admitted to a July arrest, saying he’d had a few drinks and was tired so he pulled over to sleep but says he wasn’t drunk.
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A Trotwood police report tells a different story, saying his car was “in the median.” The vehicle wasn’t running, but the keys were in the ignition.
The officer said when they asked Hill why he was parked there, “he answered that he was going to his hotel here” and pointed at a nearby nursing home. The officer said Hill tried to hand over his debit card instead of his driver's license. And, the report showed he failed two of three sobriety tests. He was arrested for being in physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and later was found guilty. Hill’s run-in with the law just six months later has a similar narrative. It shows University of Dayton police officers found him sleeping in his car in a parking lot, and this time the car was running. The officer said when she woke up Hill, he said “She’s fine, she’s fine. She is running around here. She is so funny.”And, police said he smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech and had glassy eyes. He was arrested for OVI and later found guilty of a lesser charge of having physical control while intoxicated. At New Horizons Therapeutic Services today, staff said Hill was unavailable for an interview.
Thursday, April 4th, 2019FC Cincinnati suspend Fanendo Adi after being charged with impaired driving
The Orange and Blue have excused the Nigerian forward from subsequent games after he was stopped for over-speeding and impaired driving on Sunday
FC Cincinnati have suspended Fanendo Adi from club activities after he was caught by police to be 'Operating a Vehicle while Impaired' [OVI].
Adi has missed his side's last two games in the American top-flight after suffering an injury in an encounter against his former team Portland Timbers at the Nippert Stadium.
In the early hours of Sunday before Cincinnati conceded a 2-0 defeat to Philadelphia Union, the 28-year-old was pulled over by police for speed violation.
According to reports, court documents show that the player is accused of traveling 102mph in a 65-mph zone in Butler County, north of Cincinnati and he was subsequently given a breathalyzer test during the traffic stop which showed his blood-alcohol level to be .124 with the legal blood-alcohol limit in Ohio set at .08.
The Nigerian forward is set to be investigated by officials at the Major League Soccers Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program before he could return to help his team who are fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.
"Early Sunday morning, Fanendo Adi was stopped for speeding and cited for Operating a Vehicle While Impaired (OVI) by the Ohio State Highway Patrol," read the club statement.
"FC Cincinnati takes these matters very seriously and upon learning of the incident, immediately reached out to Major League Soccer and local authorities.
"Per the MLS CBA, Fanendo will be assessed through Major League Soccers Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) Program.
"He will be unavailable for all team activities until the assessment is complete and he has been cleared to return by SABH program doctors. In addition, MLS will undertake an independent review of the circumstances surrounding Fanendos citation, working closely with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
"The club will have no further comment until that investigation is complete."
Adi joined FC Cincinnati as their first designated player in July 2018 and he is yet to open his goal account for the 2019 Major League Soccer season after playing three games.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 Mother, 30, admits to picking her daughter up from school while FIVE times the legal alcohol limit
A mother who was charged with drink driving had left court only hours earlier
Teachers called police when Caroline Throwden arrived at school drunk
The 30-year-old was taken to Nelson Bay police station, where she blew 0.252
Incident occurred hours her license was suspended for a separate offence
A mother has admitted to trying to pick up her daughter from school while intoxicated, just hours after her license was suspended for a separate drink driving offence.
School teachers called police when an intoxicated Caroline Ashthore Throwden arrived at her six-year-old daughters school in Salamander Bay, in NSWs Hunter region, on March 11.
Her two-year-old son was with her at the time, and officers who arrived on the scene noted she was swaying and slurring her words.
The 30-year-old was taken to Nelson Bay police station, where she blew 0.252 five times over the legal limit.
Just three hours earlier, the 30-year-old was disqualified from getting behind the wheel for three months and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond for a second drink driving incident.
On Monday, Throwden pleaded guilty to high range drink driving in Raymond Terrace Local Court, where her previous drink driving conviction was revealed.
Police are now hoping to also charge her for driving while disqualified.
Because her conviction was so new, police were unaware she was not allowed to be driving during her second arrest and she made no mention of it to officers.
She did admit to driving to the school, but swore she was intending on walking home with her children.
Police said: she smelt strongly of alcohol, was a little unsteady on her feet, the whites of her eyes were dark and appeared bloodshot and her speech was slurred.
There is a large number of children that attend [the school] and that coupled with the extremely high alcohol reading had the potential for a catastrophic outcome, police said.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019Ann Arbor city council member drove with twice the legal blood-alcohol limit
ANN ARBOR, MI - An Ann Arbor city councilman is serving a year of probation for drunken driving.
Zachary Ackerman, D-3rd Ward, was sentenced in February for driving under the influence in Novi, northeast of Ann Arbor, court records show.
Now, hes apologizing for the incident, calling it the wake-up he needed to be diagnosed with severe alcohol dependency and seek treatment.
"I'm sorry that this happened," he said when reached by The Ann Arbor News on Wednesday. "You hope to live your life as a model of how it should be lived, but life is real."
And so, I just want to be clear that I never intended to hide this story for malicious reasons. I simply hoped that I could live my private life privately, but I do have to own what happened on the night of Jan. 2.
Ackerman, 25, of Ann Arbor, was arrested about 5:35 p.m. Jan. 2, after police responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash, said Novi police Detective Sgt. Kevin Gilmore.
The councilman was driving south on Beck Road, north of 10 Mile Road when he rear-ended another vehicle, Gilmore said. No one was injured, but Ackerman appeared under the influence, Gilmore said.
"Eyes were bloodshot - glossy," Gilmore said. " (He had) slurred speech, smell - odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle and then his person."
Ackerman submitted to field sobriety tests but refused a breathalyzer at the scene, Gilmore said.
At the jail, testing showed Ackerman had a blood-alcohol level of 0.2 percent - more than twice the legal limit for driving in Michigan - Gilmore said.
He was held until about 5 a.m. the next day, Gilmore said.
Ackerman was originally charged under the states so-called super drunk law, court records show. The law allows for heftier penalties for those who test at 0.17 or above.
However, Ackerman pleaded no contest before the end of January to a misdemeanor charge of operating while ability impaired, court records show.
He was sentenced on Feb. 20 to a year of probation and five days of community service, court records show.
Ackerman began drinking in college, where he said there was a cultural emphasis on binge drinking, he said, and that carried over into his professional life after graduation.
He declined to comment on why the charge was reduced or where he was coming from at the time of the crash, but said he began researching treatment the next day,
The arrest was, in fact, a blessing, he said, noting the last three months have been the happiest and healthiest of his life.
I am today in recovery, he said. I have not had a drink since that night and Im committed to being able to still say that on my deathbed decades from now.
Ackerman said he doesn't plan to resign and doesn't believe that the outcome of an addiction should lead to being removed from council. He remains excited to do important work in the community, he said.
As to not alerting his constituents or fellow council members sooner, he believed the incident should be dealt with as a health issue, not a moral issue, he said.
I also understand there was a public safety element because of the fact that I got behind the wheel and for that I am sorry, but, again, Im trying to focus on what good can come of that night and not the night itself, Ackerman said.
He said he hopes those with concerns about possible substance use disorder can feel comfortable coming to him to talk, and pointed to recovery options at Michigan Medicine, St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Dawn Farm.
Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor expressed support for Ackerman on Wednesday, saying that though he just learned of the matter, he believed it to be a private concern and not grounds for removal from council.
Council Member Ackermans work for Ann Arbor on council and elsewhere has been exemplary, careful and thoughtful, he said. Ackerman has a medical problem for which he has sought and received medical treatment. I support and stand by him.
He later added that he supports all members of Ann Arbor's recovery community.
Jack Eaton, D-4th Ward, too, offered support to Ackerman, also calling the incident a private matter.
Though he said he didn't know details of the arrest or Ackerman's health condition, Ackerman had told council members he was going to outpatient rehabilitation as a reason for missing some city meetings.
Ackerman confirmed missing meetings, noting he needed to be healthy to better serve residents.
"I'm back to full time," he said.
The temporary absence from meetings seemed to be the only possible impact on Ackermans role on council, Eaton said. Ackerman has, indeed, been attending more meetings recently.
Its unfortunate, Eaton said. Drinking and driving is a huge social problem and Im sorry that he drank and drove I hope that he gets the help that he needs and I look forward to serving with him.
Ackerman was first elected to council in 2015, when he became the first University of Michigan student to win an Ann Arbor council race in 23 years. He was re-elected in 2017 to a term until 2020 and now works for Denison Consulting downtown.
Monday, April 1st 25th, 2019Authorities say man was under the influence of meth in N. Whitehall crash that injured several people
Lehigh County authorities say Nicholas Strohl, 32, was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of a Dec. 2 crash in Slatington that injured several people. (Northampton County Jail)
Lehigh County authorities say a Slatington man was under the influence of methamphetamine in a December crash that seriously injured several people.
Nicholas Strohl, 32, faces numerous charges including aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence of methamphetamine, possession of drugs and various traffic summaries, according to a news release issued Friday by District Attorney Jim Martin.
Strohl is in Northampton County Jail on unrelated charges and will be arraigned on the Lehigh County charges at a later date, authorities say.
According to the news release:
The three-vehicle crash happened around 4:40 p.m. Dec. 2 near Route 145 and Mauser Road in North Whitehall Township.
State police say Strohls car, a Honda Accord, was speeding when he hit another vehicle while driving in the wrong lane. After hitting that vehicle, police say Strohl then hit another car.
Police say the driver of the first vehicle hit by Strohl, 57-year-old Charles Karanik of Jim Thorpe, suffered multiple fractures and underwent numerous surgeries after the crash.
A driver and passenger in the second car involved in the crash also suffered minor injuries. Police say the passenger inside that car, identified as Cassidy Pitts, 18, is undergoing physical therapy for neck injuries she received in the crash.
Strohl was also injured in the crash, authorities say, but they did not provide further details.
Strohl has an extensive criminal record in both Lehigh and Northampton counties dating back to 2005 for mostly drug offenses, according to court records.