Jefferson County News

News from Jefferson County.

Deadly Head-on Crash in Washington Twp, Pickup v Tractor Trailer

An unidentified 73 year old Ohio man is dead, the result of a late Wednesday night wrong way crash In Jefferson County on Interstate 80 involving a full size pickup truck pulling a boat and a tractor trailer.  The DuBois state police report the Chevy Silverado pickup truck was traveling east on the interstate in Washington Township at shortly after 10:15 pm about a quarter mile west of Airport Road.   The Volvo tractor trailer was reported traveling west at the 94 mile marker also about a quarter mile west of Airport Road in Washington Township. 

Police say the pickup truck, driven by the 73 year old man, went off the north side of the east bound lanes and traveled through the median.  The pickup then entered the west bound lanes traveling east and continued doing so for approximately one mile.  Police report the tractor trailer, heading west, driven by a 55 year old California man, who saw the pickup truck traveling the wrong way on the interstate.  He attempted to bring his truck to a stop but was unable to do so.  It is reported two trucks crashed headon. 

Police say the pickup truck spun 180 degrees after the crash acame to a final stop vacing west in the right lane with disabling damage.  The tractor trailer came to a stop west of where the two vehicles had crashed off the left side of the roadway with major damage to front engine area.  Police report the boat trailer became disconnected from the pickup truck and came to a final stop on the southern most guide rails west of the crash.  The boat came off the trailer and became lodged on to the front of the tractor trailer. 

Police say while the pickup truck driver died in the crash, the truck tractor driver and a passenger, a 58 year old California man who was in the sleeper compartment, were flown to Altoona for treatment of suspected injuries.  Both the drivers were reported wearing seatbelts. 


Assisting at the scene were two towing services:  Zimmerman and Bricen.  Also responding to the scene were additional Dubois state troopers, and volunteers from the fire departments in Falls Creek, Sandy Township, and Reynoldsville.  DuSan Ambulance also assisted at the scene.  


60 Yr Old Man Ok After Rollover in Warsaw Twp

In Jefferson County a 60 year old man escaped injury when his small car overturned Saturday afternoon shortly after 5:30 pm in Warsaw Township, Jefferson County on Egypt Road at the Intersection with Hideaway Lane.  John Deboer, of Brookville, was driving north on Egypt road uphill on a straight section of road when the car crested the hill and the road became snow covered.   Police say the car broke traction and went off the road way and crashed into a culvert on the right shoulder.  The car then rotated to the left and came to an uncontrolled stop on Hideaway lane.  The Warsaw Volunteer Fire Department and Bailey's Towing Assisted at the scene.  


Jeff Co Man Charged w Arson

As the result of a state police arson investigation, a Jefferson County businessman is lodged in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond accused of causing a fire that damaged his business last year.  The Ridgway State Police Fire Marshal, the Reynoldsville Borough Police Department, and Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Department investigated the origin and the cause of the fire that damaged a commercial building housing Bowtie Tires, Brakes and Inspection LLC, owned by John Lechiara of DuBois. 

Authorities say the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire  at shortly before 9 pm on the evening of May 4, 2016.  There were no injuries reported.  The cause of the fire was determined to have been the result of arson.  Damage was estimated at $100,000.

The fire marshal reports criminal charges were filed by the state police and the local police in district court against LeChiara for arson and related offenses along with Insurance Fraud, Criminal Mischief, Reckless Endangerment and Disorderly Conduct.  A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday March 15th at 1 pm before Magisterial District Court Judge David B. Izana.  In all Lechiara is charged with 6 felonies and three misdemeanors (F1 Arson-Danger Of Death Or Bodily Injury, F2 Arson-Intent Destroy Unoccupied Bldg, F2 Arson-Intent Collect Insurance, Reckless Burning or Exploding - places property having value that exceeds $5000 or automobile, place ; F3 Criminal Mischief/Damage Prop Intent, Reckless, Or Negligence; F3 False/Fraudulent/lncomplete Insurance Claim; M1 Insurance/Intent To Defraud; M2 Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M3 Disorder Conduct Hazardous/Physical Off)LeChiara is not yet represented by an attorney.


Bowtie Tires, Brakes and Inspection was located at 5 North 5th Street in Reynoldsville.  


Jefferson Co Woman Out $29k in IRS Scam

The Dubois state police are investigating the alleged theft of $29,000 worth of gift cards.  The troopers say an unknown person, saying his name was "Richard Harris", called the victim, a 57 year old white non-Hispanic Reynoldsville woman, between 3 pm Monday February 27 and 6 pm Tuesday February 28th and told her she owed money to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  Mr Harris instructed the woman to purchase Wal-Mart gift cards and to provide him with the card numbers to fulfill her debt.  Police say the woman provided Mr. Harris with $29,000 worth of gift cards before reporting the incident to police.  


Punxy Phil Sees Shadow, 6 More Weeks of Winter

Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog made his announcement at 7:22 am this morning through his top hatted inner circle handlers at Gobbler's Knob. 


The festivities have their origin in a German legend which says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on February 2nd, winter continues.  If not spring comes early.

In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney.  Records dating to 1887 show Phil predicting more winter, now 103 times, while forecasting an early spring just 18 times, including last year.  There are no records for the remaining years.  


Dubois PSP Probes I-80 Jeffco Fatal Crash

The Dubois State Police are investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 80 near mile marker 73 in Union Township, Jefferson County Monday morning shortly after 11 am.  The troopers report a truck tractor and semi-trailer, struck a stopped vehicle which had been involved in a separate crash.  A GMC Sierra pickup truck then struck the left rear quarter panel of the truck tractor.  A Freightliner truck then struck the rear of the pickup truck traveling over the top of the pickup truck.  Police say the two truck drivers sustained only minor injuries .  The unidentified driver of the pickup truck was killed during the crash.  The identities of the drivers and other details of the accident will be released upon completion of the investigation and notifications.


Dubois PSP on Look Out for Stolen .38 S&W

An investigation in a stolen fire arm in Jefferson County is continuing.  Pennsylvania state police at the Dubois station report shortly after noon on Friday, January 13th in Snyder Township, .38 Smith and Wesson pistol was stolen from the residence of Douglas Means.  Anyone with information should contact the Dubois State Police.  


Man Injured in Jeffco Rollover

A rollover is reported by the Dubois State Police .  The Troopers say this crash occurred as a small SUV was traveling east on Wayne Road in Winslow Township, Jefferson County a quarter mile west of Pancoast Road at shortly before 3:30 pm last Thursday afternoon.  Police report the driver, 52 year old John Drayer of Dubois was not able to make it through a right curve in the roadway and lost control of the vehicle.  He went of the eastbound shoulder of the roadway and continued east, crossing into the oncoming lane of traffic before crashing into an embankment.  Police say the SUV continued east and rolled onto its roof.  It is suspect Drayer sustained minor injuries.  His vehicle had to be towed from the scene.  


RV and Boat Destroyed in Saturday Jeffco Fire

A boat and a recreational vehicle are listed destroyed by in a Saturday afternoon fire in Jefferson County.  The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal operating out of the Dubois Station reports he and the Falls Creek Fire Department investigated the cause and origin of the fire at 4934 State Route 1830 in Washington Township.  Authorities say the fire destroyed a 1993 Holiday Rambler Motor Home and a 1977 eighteen foot fiberglass boat.  The fire is said to have originated  in the motor home and spread to the boat.  John A. McCullugh, Sr. of Dubois, the owner of the RV and John A. McCollugh, Jr. age 56,of Reynoldsville, the owner of the boat, were working on the RV about 45 minutes before the fire was discovered.  Authorities say the boat and the RV were unattended when the fire ignited.  Damage is estimated at $25,000.  There were no injuries.  


Pennsylvania man gets prison term for starving horses

A Jefferson County man is reporting to jail for a six to twelve month sentence imposed for starving horses.  According to online court records Leonard W. Hughes, 45, of 1418 Howe Road, is also required by Jefferson County Common Pleas Court to pay fines and restitution.  The court cost come $47 however the restitution is not listed.  

Authorities say thirteen of 28 horses in his field were seized by Jefferson County humane control in September.  Four horses died as result of neglect.  Between August 30, 2016 and September 14th 2016 Hughes was charged with four summary counts of Cruelty Animals.  

The on line court records show Hughes originally was found guiltyby trial in November and filed a notice of appeal in late December and a hearing had been set for January 12th, 2017.  However, two days before the hearing Hughes pleaded guilty in a written colloquy saying he takes responsibility for what happened.  

Authorities report most of the horse now are fully recovered.  

According to the online court records the case was prosecuted by Kristine Kitko Carllini, the Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney.  Hughes was represented by Jefferson County Public Defender Fred Hummel.  President Judge John H. Foradora pronounced sentence.  Jefferson County Common Pleas Court is located in Brookville, PA.  

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