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Mahoning police probe 2 DUI related crashes in three weeks

  • SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Car operated by Andrea Sargent, 38, of Jim Thorpe, rests against mountain along Route 209 between Jim Thorpe and Mahoning Township on March 17.
    SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Car operated by Andrea Sargent, 38, of Jim Thorpe, rests against mountain along Route 209 between Jim Thorpe and Mahoning Township on March 17.
Published March 23. 2013 09:02AM

The Mahoning Township Police Department investigated two DUI related accidents on Route 209 within a two-week period.

As a result, township police will be increasing their DUI enforcement on State Route 209, according to Officer in Charge Audie Mertz.

Motorists are reminded to dial 911 if they suspect a drunk driver.

An accident on Sunday, March 17, at 2:13 p.m., occurred when a vehicle crashed less than a mile from where a police officer was parked monitoring traffic.

The accident happened on Route 209 between Jim Thorpe and Mahoning.

Police said when the officer arrived at the scene, a witness stated the driver of the smashed car had attempted to enter her vehicle asking for assistance in leaving the scene.

In addition, a passing tow truck had stopped to assist at the crash. While the tow truck operator was removing debris from the roadway the crashed vehicles driver entered the tow truck without permission. She was removed from the tow truck by its operator.

Police said the driver of the smashed car was found stumbling around in the roadway. She was identified as Andrea Sargent, 38, of Jim Thorpe.

Sargent stated she was on her way to work and had been using her phone when she drove off the roadway.

Police said the crash investigation showed the vehicle was traveling towards Lehighton when it drove off the shoulder at a high rate of speed striking the mountain. The vehicle then continued approximately 300 feet until it hit the mountain a second time where it stopped.

Sargent refused medical treatment butwas taken to the Gnaden Huetten Campus of Blue Mountain Health System for a blood test.

DUI charges are pending the results of the testing.

Mahoning Township Police were assisted by Jim Thorpe Police, the Lehighton Fire Department, and Lehighton Fire Police.

On March 1, at 10 p.m., Mahoning Township police were dispatched to a single vehicle accident on SR209 near Spring Street.

Police said a blue Jeep Liberty was traveling North when it went off the roadway striking a rock embankment and a tree. The vehicle sustained heavy damage and was not drivable.

At the scene officers found open beer cans inside the car, and on the roadway.

The driver of the vehicle identified as Eugene Blaney Jr., 66, of Kunkletown was found lying on the shoulder of the road.

Blaney was transported by Lehighton Ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment of injuries. He is being charged with two counts of DUI.

Results of a blood test showed Eugene had a BAC of .256 percent, which is more than three times the legal limit.

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