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Coaldale driver facing charges

Published June 15. 2012 05:01PM

A Coaldale man, whose passenger was injured in a DUI-related car crash in March, has been released on $10,000 unsecured bail after being charged in connection with the incident.

John Vincent Chaney, 21, of 130 Sixth St., faces driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, recklessly endangering another person, and aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI. The accident occurred March 28. The passenger injured was Bynon, who sustained a broken neck.

According to court documents, Coaldale Police Chief Timothy Delaney and officer Charles Blesse were called to a crash on Route 209, near Dock Street, at 6:45 a.m. Delaney noticed skid marks, measured at 255 feet, on the opposite side of the highway, left by a vehicle going east in the southbound lane. A nearby billboard had been smashed. Lansford Det./Sgt. Jack Soberick had taken measurements and told Delaney he believed the car had been speeding more than 65 miles-per-hour at the time of the crash.

The car had careened off the highway and hit a tree, ejecting Chaney. Bynon had crawled out of the wreck, which had rolled 35 feet down a bank. Chaney was flown to St. Luke's Hospital, Fountain Hill. Bynon was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.

Lansford Officer Jeffrey Ohl spoke with Chaney and noted a strong odor of alcohol on the man's breath. Ohl also spoke with Bynon, who told him Chaney had been driving.

Witnesses told police they had seen what was later identified as Chaney's car speeding the wrong side of the road. One called 911 after seeing the car barrel off the highway and into the woods.

In an interview with Bynon the next day, Delaney learned that the two had been drinking the night before the crash at a bar in Tamaqua, then gone to Chaney's house. They left there, with Chaney driving, at about 5:45 a.m. Bynon told Delaney the last thing he remembered before the crash was that he begged Chaney to "slow down or we will get killed."

On March 30, Delaney received the results of a blood-alcohol test on Chaney. The results indicated that Chaney's blood alcohol level was at 0.08 percent, the threshold for driving under the influence.

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