Friday, November 18, 2022

Drunk Driver Charged After Causing 5 Crashes on Route 309 in Schuylkill County

A New Ringgold man is facing numerous charges after allegedly driving drunk and causing 5 crashes on Route 309 in August.

According to West Penn Township Police, on August 17th, 2022, Township Police were dispatched to a vehicle crash with roll over on West Penn Pike in West Penn Township.

Upon arrival Police found a GMC Sierra that was traveling north, had gone off the roadway striking a tree. The driver of the vehicle was lying on the ground next to the vehicle.

Upon speaking with the driver, he identified himself as Nicholas Schuler, 26, of New Ringgold. Police detected a strong odor of alcohol on the driver.

Schuler sustained injured and was transported by helicopter to the hospital.

West Penn Township Police were advised of another crash south of this location where this same vehicle was involved.

Upon Police arrival, this crash victim stated she was southbound in the right lane when she saw another vehicle coming toward her in her travel lane. She attempted to swerve to avoid the vehicle however her vehicle was struck. She stated that the vehicle identified as Schuler, failed to stop, and continued north on Route 309. Witnesses stated that the vehicle was throwing sparks as it was driving, because Schuler’s vehicle was only driving on only 3 wheels.

The driver was evaluated by EMS and had minor injuries.

While speaking with this driver and the witnesses, the Police were advised of 2 more crashes at the top of the Blue Mountain on West Penn Pike.

When Police arrived, they found vehicle and found 3 more crashes approximately ½ mile away.

A delivery van was southbound and struck a wheel and axle that was lying in the middle of the roadway. The delivery van struck the wheel and axle with the undercarriage of the vehicle causing damage to the vehicle and oil all over roadway. The delivery van was not drivable, and the driver was uninjured. The wheel and axle were from Schuler 's vehicle.

Fencing at the Thunderhead Lodge, 2520 W Penn Pike was also struck. It was determined by tire and gouge marks that it was Schuler 's vehicle that crossed the oncoming traffic lane and also the berm for the southbound lane and struck the fence, causing damage to the fence. Schuler failed to stop after striking the fence and continued north on Route 309.

Police found another vehicle sideways in the roadway in the area of the entrance to the Appalachian trail parking area with extensive damage. The driver of that vehicle was northbound on Route 309 when what was found to be Schuler 's vehicle was driving at a higher rate of speed. Schuler 's vehicle struck the left rear of the driver’s vehicle causing significant damage to both vehicles. The left rear wheel of this vehicle was ripped off the vehicle, and the right front wheel assembly was ripped off Schuler’s vehicle in this crash. This driver did sustain injuries and was transported to the hospital. Schuler failed to stop after hitting this vehicle and continued driving on 3 wheels and continued north on Route 309.

All 5 crashes occurred within approximately 4/10th mile span. All 4 vehicles were damaged to the extent they had to be towed. The highway had to be closed down for over 1 1/2 hours.

Blood test showed Schuler 's BAC to be .203% within 2 hours of driving.

Schuler was charged on November 15th, 2022, with Driving under the influence, accidents involving death or personal injury, reckless driving, and other driving violations.

Schuler is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Andrew J. Serina on December 20th, 2022.