Jefferson County News

News from Jefferson County.

Jamestown, NY Man Investigated for DUI, Drug Possession, Drug Paraphernalia

A drunk driving and drug and drug paraphernalia possession investigation continues in Jefferson County by the Pennsylvania State Police working out of the Marienville Station in Forest County.  The investigation stems from troopers finding a 31 year old Jamestown, NY man reclined and sleeping and/or passed out behind the wheel of his SUV in Barnett Township, Jefferson County Sunday, April 9 shortly before 1:30 a.m. 

The troopers report while they were on routine patrol they saw a suspicious 2007 Saturn Outlook parked and running well after the clowse of business in the parking lot of the Iron Mountain Grill.  Police say as they approached the SUV, they saw Ian Michael Richards slumped behind the steering wheel.  The troopers say they detected a strong odor of raw and or burnt marijuana coming from the SUV.  Also in plain view, the troopers saw, on the passenger side front seat a clear a baggie containing what appeared to be marijuana and a handrolled cegarette near the center console. 


When the police roused Richards, he initially tried to dump the baggie onto the ground outside the driver's door.  Richards was taken into custody for suspicious of DUI and drug possession.  A probable cause search of the vehicle resulted in a small amount marijuana, fifteen burnt marijuana roaches and one unused marijuana blunt and related drug paraphernalia.  The troopers transported Richards to Brookville Hospital where he submitted to a drug recognition evaluation and a blood draw.  


Marienville PSP Handles Jeff Co Suicide Attempt

The Marienville State Police report they handled an attempted suicide late Sunday night in Jefferson County.  The troopers report they responded to Brookville Hospital and interviewed a twenty year old Armstrong County woman from Leechburg.  The call came in at shortly before 10:15 pm for a location along State Route 949 in Eldred Township.  Police say the woman was air lifted by Life Flight to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh for further treatment.  


Owners Find Man Inside Camp

In Jefferson County, the Marienville State Police are investigating an incident of Burglary and drug and drug  paraphernalia possession.  The troopers report an incident on Tuesday March 28  between 1240 and 1:10 pm at a camp along O'Donnell road in Sigel, Eldred Township, Jefferson County.  The troopers say two unidentified State College women, 58 and 62 years old respectively arrived at the camp to check its condition.  Police say as they entered the structure, they encountered an unidentified 29 year old white non-hispanic man inside.  Police a brief conversation ensued between the women and the man before he fled out the back of the camp on foot into a wooded area.  The Police report the following day based on a description from the two women, a know white non hispanic male was taken into custody based on an unrelated warrant.  The investigation is continuing and more information is forthcoming.  


Keep Mud Off Roadways, PennDOT reminds companies of spring conditions

CLEARFIELD – PennDOT Engineering District 2 has reminded businesses in its

nine-county area about the importance of keeping state highways mud-free this

spring season.

“Mud tracked onto or deposited on the road can create a hazardous condition for

other motorists and will not be tolerated,” said Kevin Kline, District Executive. 

PennDOT has informed businesses throughout the nine counties that the property

owner, the company in charge of the operation, the vehicle owner and the driver of

the vehicle that deposited mud, can all be held responsible and made to pay for any

damages resulting from the incident. PennDOT has instructed its employees to report

any mud deposits to Pennsylvania State Police so that citations can be issued and

operations shut down until the problem is corrected.

“Safety is our top priority in designing, building and maintaining our highway

system”, Kline said. This issue is extremely important as winter ends, spring thaw

begins and mud problems become worse.”


Deadly Head-on Crash in Washington Twp, Pickup v Tractor Trailer

An unidentified 73 year old Ohio man is dead, the result of a late Wednesday night wrong way crash In Jefferson County on Interstate 80 involving a full size pickup truck pulling a boat and a tractor trailer.  The DuBois state police report the Chevy Silverado pickup truck was traveling east on the interstate in Washington Township at shortly after 10:15 pm about a quarter mile west of Airport Road.   The Volvo tractor trailer was reported traveling west at the 94 mile marker also about a quarter mile west of Airport Road in Washington Township. 

Police say the pickup truck, driven by the 73 year old man, went off the north side of the east bound lanes and traveled through the median.  The pickup then entered the west bound lanes traveling east and continued doing so for approximately one mile.  Police report the tractor trailer, heading west, driven by a 55 year old California man, who saw the pickup truck traveling the wrong way on the interstate.  He attempted to bring his truck to a stop but was unable to do so.  It is reported two trucks crashed headon. 

Police say the pickup truck spun 180 degrees after the crash acame to a final stop vacing west in the right lane with disabling damage.  The tractor trailer came to a stop west of where the two vehicles had crashed off the left side of the roadway with major damage to front engine area.  Police report the boat trailer became disconnected from the pickup truck and came to a final stop on the southern most guide rails west of the crash.  The boat came off the trailer and became lodged on to the front of the tractor trailer. 

Police say while the pickup truck driver died in the crash, the truck tractor driver and a passenger, a 58 year old California man who was in the sleeper compartment, were flown to Altoona for treatment of suspected injuries.  Both the drivers were reported wearing seatbelts. 


Assisting at the scene were two towing services:  Zimmerman and Bricen.  Also responding to the scene were additional Dubois state troopers, and volunteers from the fire departments in Falls Creek, Sandy Township, and Reynoldsville.  DuSan Ambulance also assisted at the scene.  


60 Yr Old Man Ok After Rollover in Warsaw Twp

In Jefferson County a 60 year old man escaped injury when his small car overturned Saturday afternoon shortly after 5:30 pm in Warsaw Township, Jefferson County on Egypt Road at the Intersection with Hideaway Lane.  John Deboer, of Brookville, was driving north on Egypt road uphill on a straight section of road when the car crested the hill and the road became snow covered.   Police say the car broke traction and went off the road way and crashed into a culvert on the right shoulder.  The car then rotated to the left and came to an uncontrolled stop on Hideaway lane.  The Warsaw Volunteer Fire Department and Bailey's Towing Assisted at the scene.  


Jeff Co Man Charged w Arson

As the result of a state police arson investigation, a Jefferson County businessman is lodged in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond accused of causing a fire that damaged his business last year.  The Ridgway State Police Fire Marshal, the Reynoldsville Borough Police Department, and Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Department investigated the origin and the cause of the fire that damaged a commercial building housing Bowtie Tires, Brakes and Inspection LLC, owned by John Lechiara of DuBois. 

Authorities say the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire  at shortly before 9 pm on the evening of May 4, 2016.  There were no injuries reported.  The cause of the fire was determined to have been the result of arson.  Damage was estimated at $100,000.

The fire marshal reports criminal charges were filed by the state police and the local police in district court against LeChiara for arson and related offenses along with Insurance Fraud, Criminal Mischief, Reckless Endangerment and Disorderly Conduct.  A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday March 15th at 1 pm before Magisterial District Court Judge David B. Izana.  In all Lechiara is charged with 6 felonies and three misdemeanors (F1 Arson-Danger Of Death Or Bodily Injury, F2 Arson-Intent Destroy Unoccupied Bldg, F2 Arson-Intent Collect Insurance, Reckless Burning or Exploding - places property having value that exceeds $5000 or automobile, place ; F3 Criminal Mischief/Damage Prop Intent, Reckless, Or Negligence; F3 False/Fraudulent/lncomplete Insurance Claim; M1 Insurance/Intent To Defraud; M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M3 Disorder Conduct Hazardous/Physical Off)LeChiara is not yet represented by an attorney.


Bowtie Tires, Brakes and Inspection was located at 5 North 5th Street in Reynoldsville.  


Jefferson Co Woman Out $29k in IRS Scam

The Dubois state police are investigating the alleged theft of $29,000 worth of gift cards.  The troopers say an unknown person, saying his name was "Richard Harris", called the victim, a 57 year old white non-Hispanic Reynoldsville woman, between 3 pm Monday February 27 and 6 pm Tuesday February 28th and told her she owed money to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  Mr Harris instructed the woman to purchase Wal-Mart gift cards and to provide him with the card numbers to fulfill her debt.  Police say the woman provided Mr. Harris with $29,000 worth of gift cards before reporting the incident to police.  


Punxy Phil Sees Shadow, 6 More Weeks of Winter

Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog made his announcement at 7:22 am this morning through his top hatted inner circle handlers at Gobbler's Knob. 


The festivities have their origin in a German legend which says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on February 2nd, winter continues.  If not spring comes early.

In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney.  Records dating to 1887 show Phil predicting more winter, now 103 times, while forecasting an early spring just 18 times, including last year.  There are no records for the remaining years.  

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