DUI driver who struck skater heads to pri­son

The Phoenix - - LOCAL NEWS - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @mont­co­court­news on Twit­ter

NOR­RIS­TOWN >> A Lower Sal­ford man is on his way to state pri­son af­ter he ad­mit­ted he was driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs when he struck and in­jured a woman rollerblad­ing on a Skippack road­way.

Daniel Michael John­son, 45, of the 200 block of Danielle Drive, was sen­tenced in Mont­gomery County Court to 2½ to eight years in a state cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity af­ter he pleaded guilty to charges of ag­gra­vated as­sault by a ve­hi­cle while driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of a con­trolled sub­stance and DUI in con­nec­tion with the 6:14 p.m. April 16, 2017, in­ci­dent on Lu­con Road, just south of Town­ship Line Road, in Skippack.

Judge Wil­liam R. Car­pen­ter also or­dered John­son to com­plete 50 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice within two years of his re­lease from pri­son. John­son also must pay $45,579 in resti­tu­tion to the Skippack woman who was in­jured.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan when state po­lice at Skippack were dis­patched to the Lu­con Road lo­ca­tion for a re­ported crash and found a 2011 Volk­swa­gen Jetta, with dam­age to the pas­sen­ger side head­lamp and wind­shield, in the north­bound lane of the road­way. Po­lice also found a fe­male ly­ing on the grass just off the east side of the road­way, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint filed by state po­lice Trooper Kevin Kas­sel.

“The un­re­spon­sive vic­tim was ly­ing on her left side, had shal­low breath, a low pulse and was be­ing treated by am­bu­lance per­son­nel. The vic­tim sus­tained head trauma and blood cov­er­ing her face,” Kas­sel wrote in the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

The vic­tim was air­lifted to a hospi­tal in Le­high County for emer­gency treat­ment.

John­son, who had been driv­ing the Jetta, was stand­ing near the vic­tim and he stated to po­lice, “Just tell me she is go­ing to be ok,” ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint. Kas­sel said John­son was “er­ratic and ram­bling.”

The sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined John­son’s Jetta was trav­el­ing north­bound on Lu­con Road when it struck the vic­tim, who had been rollerblad­ing on the north­bound shoul­der of the road­way.

“The Jetta made im­pact with the pedes­trian’s left leg and head,” Kas­sel al­leged.

Dur­ing an ini­tial in­ter­view, John­son told po­lice he was com­ing from a friend’s house and was on his way home and only re­called, “bam, and saw my wind­shield cracked,” ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit. Po­lice asked John­son to com­plete field so­bri­ety tests and at that time po­lice ob­served in­di­ca­tors of an op­er­a­tor un­der the in­flu­ence of nar­cotics.

John­son was trans­ported to a lo­cal hospi­tal for a blood draw. Dur­ing a sec­ond in­ter­view, John­son ad­mit­ted that he con­sumed metham­phetamine “Fri­day night through Satur­day morn­ing, slept all Satur­day into Sun­day and woke up to go home prior to the crash,” ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint. The crash oc­curred Sun­day even­ing.

“John­son re­lated he had been mess­ing around with the sun­roof when the win­dow cracked and he saw her (the vic­tim) in the rear view mir­ror,” Kas­sel wrote in the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Blood tests re­vealed “pos­i­tive find­ings for metham­phetamine and am­phet­a­mine” in John­son’s sys­tem, po­lice al­leged.

Po­lice said an in­spec­tion of the Jetta found no me­chan­i­cal prob­lems or con­di­tions that could have con­trib­uted to the crash. An ac­ci­dent re­con­struc­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­ducted by a state po­lice trooper from the Reading bar­racks “who con­sid­ered a vis­i­bil­ity is­sue and de­ter­mined an alert driver should have ob­served a pedes­trian in the road­way.”

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