January 14th thru January 20th in the year Two Thousand and Nineteen
Sunday January 20th, 2019Police reports 1/16/19: Almond man charged for fifth time in four months
ANGELICA — An Almond has been charged for the fifth time in four months, this time for an alleged assault.
Juston W. Conklin, 26, of Almond, was charged at 10 p.m. Monday with third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor.
New York State Police investigating a dispute in front of an Olean Street residence in the village of Angelica allege that Conklin struck a person, causing injury. It was also determined Conklin had an outstanding bench warrant issued out of Angelica Town Court.
Conklin was arraigned and remanded to Allegany County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond. He is due back in court at a later date.
Conklin was also charged with second-degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, in December in Friendship; fourth-degree criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation, in November in Angelica; second-degree trespass, a class A misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, a violation, in November in Andover; and acting in manner injurious to a child, a class A misdemeanor, fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment in October in Friendship.
• Tuesday, 3:14 a.m., no injuries were reported from a one-vehicle accident on Main Street near North Union Street. Mark D. Wilkowski, 47, of 22 Ganna Court, West Seneca, was traveling westbound on Main Street when he allegedly left the roadway and struck a truck route sign, damaging it. Wilkowski was charged with first-degree operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs, an unclassified misdemeanor, and moving from lane unsafely, an infraction.
• Tuesday, 10:58 a.m., William H. Shaffer, 28, of 1644 Park Ave., Olean, was arrested on a bench warrant issued out of Olean City Court. Shaffer was held pending arraignment.
• Tuesday, 1:13 p.m., Chad E. Smith, 46, of 211 Center St., Olean, was charged with trespass, a violation. Smith is due back in court at a later date.
• Tuesday, 12:25 a.m., Leslie E. Pierce, 34, of Salamanca, was charged with driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater, both class E felonies; operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device, a class A misdemeanor; unlicensed operator, a violation; and moving from lane unsafely, an infraction. Pierce was processed and released with a ticket to appear in court at a later date.
• Monday, no time provided, Angel R. Laprade, 29, of Angelica, was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and operating with registration suspended/revoked, both unclassified misdemeanors; and operating without insurance, a violation. The charges stem from a traffic stop on the Bolivar Road. Laprade was processed and committed to Allegany County Jail on $500 cash bail or $1,000 property bond. She is due back in court at a later date.
• Tuesday, no time provided, Anthony J. Schoonover, 22, of Richford, Pa., was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony, and insufficient tail lamps, an infraction. The charges stem from a traffic stop on South Main Street. Schoonover was processed and released and is due back in court at a later date.
Saturday, January 19th, 2019Mom of Army vet killed in crash urges people not to drink and drive
BAY CITY, MI – A Tennessee man is heading to prison for then drunken crash that killed a U.S. Army veteran and mother of two, who had recently relocated to Bay County from Tennessee.
Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran on Monday, Jan. 14, sentenced David L. Denman, 47, to nine to 15 years in prison. The judge gave him credit for 443 days already served in the county jail.
Sheeran also ordered Denman to pay $220,156.35 in restitution to an insurance company in regard to what the company spent on the surviving driver Denman injured in his drunken crash.
Denman in December pleaded guilty to single counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death and operating while license suspended, denied, or revoked causing death. In exchange, the prosecution dismissed a count of failing to stop at the scene of an accident when at fault causing death.
The crash occurred the night of Oct. 27, 2017, or early the next morning and resulted in the death of 27-year-old Heather D. Clark.
“I would like to say that I do feel that I got justice today,” said Clark’s mother, Loree Ditgen, who made the trip to the sentencing from her Florida home. “I also want to say that I’m sorry to David’s family. I know how hard this was on them. My daughter will be forever missed, and I hope that people realize not to drink and drive.
“My granddaughters are still suffering,” she continued, “but with this said, maybe this will bring some closure.”
Denman’s attorney, Jason P. Gower, expressed his condolences to Clark’s loved ones on behalf of his client.
“Mr. Denman and his entire family morn and pray for Heather Clark and her entire family, in particular her two daughters,” he said.
Clark, a mother of two daughters, would have turned 28 on Nov. 8, 2017.
She retired from the U.S. Army with an honorable discharge in September 2015 at the rank of private first class (E-3), family previously said. She later lived with a boyfriend in Knoxville, Tennessee, before moving to Michigan in October 2016 to live with her father and stepmother in Sanford.
She had plans to open a hair salon and was also slated to audition on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Shortly after the crash happened, Bay County Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene in the 600 block of North Garfield Road in Garfield Township and found a black Chevrolet Silverado on its roof, blocking a driveway. Medical personnel were treating its driver, 25-year-old Caleb A. Lapan, but were unable to find his passenger, Clark.
Deputies also spotted a black 2004 Mercedes-Benz in a field on the opposite side of the road. It had sustained heavy front-end damage and its driver's side airbag had been deployed, court records show. The car was unoccupied, with deputies noting footprints leaving from the driver's side door and heading toward the road.
Deputies found a pill bottle bearing Denman's name, an electronic cigarette and a cellphone. The car was registered to another man in Tennessee.
Speaking with deputies, Lapan said he had been driving his truck south on North Garfield. He was talking with Clark when he was suddenly rear-ended, he said. The next thing he knew, he was climbing out of the wreckage, he said.
After an extensive search, Garfield Township firefighters found Clark still pinned inside the truck. They used the Jaws of Life to open the vehicle and extract Clark. Medical personnel pronounced her dead at the scene.
Northern Bay Ambulance transported Lapan to an area hospital. Meanwhile, the Michigan State Police Trooper 3 helicopter and the Arenac County Sheriff’s K9 Unit responded to the scene to help find the Mercedes-Benz driver.
More than an hour later, Bay County Central Dispatch received calls from two residences on West Anderson Road. Both callers said a man was pounding on their doors, screaming that his vehicle was in a ditch.
The helicopter responded to the area and detected a heat signature under a small pine tree. Deputies went to this spot and found a sopping wet, mud-caked Denman lying under the tree.
Denman told deputies he had been drinking at several places but refused to submit to a preliminary Breathalyzer test. He told deputies he had not been driving, encouraging them to look for a friend to whom the car was registered. When deputies told him there was no evidence anyone other than he had been in the car, Denman replied, “Well, I don’t know.”
They later visited Denman’s mother’s house in Linwood. She told them he had arrived in Bay County on Monday from Clarksville, Tennessee, and that he had been driving his friend’s Mercedes-Benz. She said he left her house about 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 and that he was alone.
Friday, January 18th, 2019Ten arrested during Santa Maria DUI checkpoint
Ten people were arrested over the weekend on multiple charges during a DUI/driver's license checkpoint conducted by the Santa Maria Police Department.
Held in the 100 block of South Broadway from 6 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, officers screened 386 vehicles over the nine-hour period. Two individuals were arrested on suspicion of alcohol-related DUI, and six were apprehended for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended/revoked. Two others were arrested on unspecified criminal charges.
A total of 10 citations were issued during the span of the operation.
Duane Schneider, supervisor for the department's Traffic Bureau, said the checkpoint was placed in a location that had the greatest opportunity to deter drunk or drugged driving and improve police and civilian safety. The operation was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Schneider said the state has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes in recent years, prompting the department to support the California Office of Traffic Safety's campaign to inform drivers that a "DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze." Use of prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, as well as marijuana consumption — especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs — can be impairing and may result in a DUI.
Studies of fatal crashes in California indicate that 30 percent of drivers had one or more drugs in their systems. Drugs that cause impairment are more common among active drivers, with 14 percent testing positive for drugs than the 7.3 percent that tested positive for alcohol. Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent — slightly more common than alcohol.
Drivers caught operating a vehicle while impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, according to Schneider. Drivers can download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone, which helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver. Impaired drivers can also use the app to call for an Uber or Lyft.
The department will conduct another DUI/driver's license checkpoint on Friday, Feb. 22, as part of its ongoing commitment to lower deaths and injuries on streets and highways.
Thursday, January 17th, 201960-year-old woman killed in collision on Cuivre River Bridge
LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – A 60-year-old woman was killed after her vehicle was struck by another car going the wrong way on the border of St. Charles and Lincoln counties. Now a family is left to deal with the tragedy.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the accident occurred at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 79 on the Cuivre River Bridge.
Cpl. Justin Wheetley with the MSHP said Alonzo Cannon was behind the wheel of a 2008 Dodge Ram traveling northbound when he drifted across lanes, crashing head-on with Zola Rodey, who was driving a 1999 Jeep Cherokee.
Rodey was pronounced dead at the scene. Cannon, who is in his 50s, was transported to the hospital in serious condition with multiple fractures.
“Officers at the scene had reason to believe he was intoxicated during the crash and placed him under arrest for suspicion of operating a vehicle in an intoxicated position,” Wheetley said.
The crash shut down Highway 79 while emergency crews cleared the scene.
State police are awaiting toxicology reports to come back before going to the prosecutor to get charges filed against Cannon.
“We as officers and first responders, that's the worst part of our job, being out on these, investigating any fatalities, we want to encourage people to be as safe as possible,” Wheetley said.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2019Man convicted of drunken driving after his car slammed into ambulance carrying 2-year-old boy with brain tumor to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
A Winston-Salem man whose car smashed into an ambulance carrying a 2-year-old boy early last year has been convicted of drunken driving.
Jose Martin Duran Romero, 28, of Neston Drive was found guilty by a Forsyth County judge Monday of driving while impaired, failing to reduce speed and driving without an operator’s license.
The charges were connected to a collision on Feb. 11, 2018, on U.S. 52 near downtown Winston-Salem. The ambulance was rushing Braylon Hunter Jenkins, 2, suffering from a brain tumor, from a Virginia hospital to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Braylon died a day after the wreck, but his cause of death was the brain tumor, not injuries that were the result of the crash, experts determined.
Judge Ted Kazakos of Forsyth District Court determined that Romero was guilty after a trial Monday afternoon that lasted more than two hours. Kazakos gave Romero an active prison sentence of 12 months. That’s the most Romero could have received based on his record and other factors in the case. Romero had no previous DWI convictions. He will get credit for time he has already served awaiting trial. He has 27 days left to serve in his sentence, Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Jane Garrity said Tuesday.
According to Winston-Salem police, Romero, driving a 2003 Honda Accord, hit the ambulance on its left side, causing it to overturn near the Liberty Street exit on southbound U.S. 52. Romero’s car ran off the road.
According to court records, Romero had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice North Carolina’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. The amount of alcohol in Romero’s system at the time was one of three aggravating factors Garrity alleged in court.
She also alleged a grossly aggravating factor — that Romero’s negligent driving resulted in serious injury to Brylon.
Braylon was being taken from Norton Community Hospital in Norton, Va., to Wake Forest Baptist.
Braylon had been nauseated and vomiting for several days before being taken to the Virginia hospital. When he got there, he began having seizures, and doctors found an 8 centimeter mass on the left side of his brain.
The key issue in this case was whether the crash directly caused Braylon’s death.
According to an amended autopsy report in December, the answer to that question is no.
The updated autopsy report said the primary cause of death was complications from the brain tumor. The initial autopsy report said a contributing factor in Braylon’s death was a traumatic extubation, meaning that the force of the collision knocked out his breathing tube, resulting in a loss of oxygen to his brain. The amended autopsy report said Braylon died from a loss of oxygen caused by brain swelling because of the tumor, noting that the breathing tube was out for only 15 seconds before another tube was put in. That wasn’t enough time for it to have been a contributing factor.
Assistant District Attorney Matt Breeding told the Winston-Salem Journal in December that because the new autopsy showed there was no evidence that the crash caused Braylon’s death, prosecutors could not charge Romero with felony death by motor vehicle.
Prosecutors also could not charge him with second-degree murder, which requires evidence of malice. One way to prove malice is if Romero had previous DWI convictions, which would show he knew he should not be drinking and driving. Another way would be if he had a driver’s license and it had been revoked, showing Romero knew he was not supposed to drive.
But Romero didn’t have any previous DWI convictions and he did not have a license that had been revoked.
Garrity said Tuesday that Walter Thomas III and Christopher Simmons testified at the trial. Thomas and Simmons were in a car traveling in the northbound lane when they saw the collision. They went across the median to help Braylon and Romero.
Evan Trawick, a paramedic, also testified during the trial.
Braylon’s’ family, including his mother, did not attend the trial, Garrity said. His mother, Lyndsay Oakes of Wise, Va., was in the ambulance when the incident happened.
Garrity said Romero’s attorney did not present evidence in the case. In criminal trials, a defendant is not required to present evidence and the burden is on the prosecutor to prove a defendant’s guilt.
Laraque Stewart, Romero’s attorney, declined Tuesday to comment on the case.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019Officer accused of rear-ending vehicle while driving drunk, then resisting arrest
A longtime Maryland police officer was suspended without pay after allegedly rear-ending another vehicle while driving drunk and then fighting officers who arrived at the scene.
Sgt. Kenneth Collier of the Anne Arundel County Police Department was arrested Saturday after officers responded to an accident in Crofton.
“Through their investigation officers believed Collier was under the influence of alcohol,” police said in a statement. “When officers initiated the arrest for the suspected DWI, Collier resisted arrest and assaulted officers on the scene.”
Police say Collier, a 21-year veteran of the department, was off-duty when he rear-ended another vehicle with his truck.
Collier has been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, second-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. He has been suspended with pay pending the results of an investigation into the accident, in which no one was injured.
Monday, January 14th, 2019Car suspended midair after three-vehicle accident in New London
New London — An accident involving three vehicles at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Boulder Drive left one car partly suspended in midair by a guidewire attached to a telephone pole Saturday night.
Upon arrival at the scene, police said the front of the black sport utility vehicle was suspended about 10 feet in the air while the back tires were on the ground. The other two vehicles were parked and sustained minor damage.
Its driver, Christina MacDonald, 41, of 33 Boulder Drive, was sitting in the front seat uninjured, police said. Once out of the vehicle, police charged MacDonald with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and failure to drive right. The cause of the accident was still not immediately clear Sunday evening. No injuries were reported.
New London Police and Fire Departments responded, while Eversource was requested to assist in lowering the vehicle. Two poles were struck, causing a power outage to some buildings in the area. New London fire contained various liquids from vehicles involved in the accident, said fire battalion chief Mark Waters.
New London police is investigating.
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