Sept. 07--Millcreek Township police charge that a Waterford Township man was legally drunk, had drugs in his system and was speeding when the van he was driving swerved off Peach Street and struck a pedestrian, killing the man on July 3.
Police on Friday filed 19 charges against John M. Peter sen, 49, in the accident that killed Bryon A. Long, 27.
Long was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which happened shortly before 2:30 a.m. on July 3. Petersen, of the 10800 block of Route 19, was not injured.
Long and a woman were walking along the eastern berm of Peach Street, just south of Kuntz Road, when a northbound 1994 Pontiac Trans Sport minivan driven by Petersen drifted onto the berm and hit Long from behind, according to case documents. The woman was not injured.
Police said surveillance video from a nearby restaurant captured the crash, and they used the video to calculate the van's average speed at about 54 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone.
Petersen told police after the accident that he had been drinking alcohol and was taking the prescription drug Prozac. Police said a blood-alcohol test showed that Petersen had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit under state law.
Further testing revealed that Petersen's blood sample contained Prozac and marijuana, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Millcreek police Cpl. Anthony Chimera.
Police served a search warrant on the van on July 8 and found a pill bottle containing a substance that tested positive in a field test for marijuana. The substance was sent out for laboratory testing, according to the affidavit.
Long's mother said Long had walked to Wegmans earlier that morning to get groceries and was pushing a full shopping cart home to their apartment off Kuntz Road when the accident occurred.
Petersen was arraigned Friday afternoon by Greene Township District Judge Susan Strohmeyer on charges of homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and DUI-general impairment, DUI-highest rate of alcohol and four counts of DUI-controlled substance.
Petersen was also arraigned on charges of recklessly endangering, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, speeding, failure to drive at safe speed, failure to drive on roadways laned for traffic and driving with expired inspection.
Strohmeyer set bond at $25,000 and scheduled Petersen's preliminary hearing for Oct. 1.
TIM HAHN can be reached at 870-1731 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNhahn.
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