Man, 25, killed on Red Hill was drug-im­paired: po­lice

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NI­COLE O’REILLY nor­eilly@thespec.com 905-526-3199 | @Ni­coleatTheSpec

Hamil­ton po­lice say a 25-year-old who died in a cross­over crash on the Red Hill Val­ley Park­way in Jan­uary was im­paired by drugs at the time.

Michael Sc­holer, 25, from Cale­do­nia was killed Jan. 25 af­ter the mini­van he was driv­ing crossed the cen­tre, grassy me­dian and crashed into a com­mer­cial truck around Dart­nall Road be­fore 5 p.m.

“Detectives in the col­li­sion re­con­struc­tion unit have re­ceived the in­for­ma­tion from the tox­i­col­ogy re­port and the find­ings were that the de­ceased man ... was im­paired by drugs,” said po­lice spokesper­son Const. Steve Wel­ton.

Sc­holer died at the scene and the 43-year-old driver from the truck was treated in hospi­tal for se­ri­ous, but non-life-threat­en­ing in­juries.

Sc­holer was on his way to work in Oakville when the crash hap­pened.

His sis­ter, Melissa (Missie) Sc­holer, has pre­vi­ously called for cen­tre me­dian bar­ri­ers on the high­way, ar­gu­ing it could have pre­vented the cross­over.

De­spite be­ing shocked by the test re­sults, she said her opinion hasn’t changed. She still be­lieves her brother would be alive if there had been a bar­rier.

“(The tox­i­col­ogy re­sults) doesn’t de­fine the man he was and it doesn’t change the fact he helped and touched so many lives or that his nieces and nephew miss him like crazy,” she said.

This crash and sim­i­lar cross­over have led to a pub­lic de­bate about safety on the Lin­coln Alexan­der and Red Hill Val­ley park­ways.

In a re­cent anal­y­sis of 125 fa­tal crashes on city roads and high­ways over the last more than five years, po­lice said half of the eight fa­tal crashes on the Red Hill and Linc were cross­over col­li­sions.

In to­tal, there were 10 cross­over crashes on Hamil­ton roads since 2012 and six on provin­cial high­ways since 2011.

Hamil­ton po­lice have re­leased an anal­y­sis of 125 fa­tal crashes over more than five years across the city, giv­ing a first-time, big-pic­ture glimpse into what causes deaths on city roads and high­ways.

Speed, im­pair­ment and inat­ten­tive driv­ing re­main the top con­tribut­ing fac­tors to most crashes, the anal­y­sis found.

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