Man says he blacked out
HUGHESVILLE – Fourteen hours after he slammed his pickup truck, while allegedly drunk, into a parked car during a brief high-speed pursuit with borough police, 45-year-old Colin Evan Whitmoyer had no recall of the chase or crash.
“I don’t remember it at all. I blacked out,” Whitmoyer, of Boyles Lane, Hillsgrove, told Patrolman Ryan Travelpiece late Thursday afternoon shortly after he was arraigned on a series of charges stemming from the early-morning pursuit.
“I’m going to have to quit drinking for good,” said Whitmoyer, who admitted during his arraignment before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman that he is coping with an ongoing battle with alcoholism.
While on routine patrol in the borough about 2:15 a.m., Travelpiece came upon Whitmoyer sitting in his stopped truck in the middle of the intersection of Main and Water streets.
The officer stopped to check on the driver’s welfare, but his attempts to communicate with the man were unsuccessful.
“As I approached the driver’s window, Whitmoyer failed to put his window down. He kept staring in front of him, acting as if I was not there,” Travelpiece said in an affidavit.
“Whitmoyer then looked at me, and I could clearly see that he had bloodshot and glassy eyes. He turned, again facing front, put the vehicle in drive and sped off,” the officer added.
Travelpiece returned to his cruiser and began pursuing Whitmoyer, who traveled south on Main Street three to four blocks before he swerved and struck a car owned by Donald Bowers head-on at Cemetery Street.
Bowers had gotten out of his car just moments before the crash, the officer said.
Whitmoyer, who was not injured and was taken into custody, admitted to drinking a few beers, Travelpiece said. “I observed multiple empty beer cans scattered behind the driver’s seat of Whitmoyer’s truck,” the officer said.
Although he did not appear injured, Whitmoyer was taken to Muncy Valley Hospital to be evaluated. “I’m an alcoholic and no one will help me,” he said while at the hospital.
Declared unfit for arraignment, Whitmoyer was placed in the Lycoming County Prison. He was taken from the jail late Thursday and arraigned on charges of felony fleeing police, recklessly endangering, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and related offenses.
“A man was standing next to the vehicle you hit,” the judge told Whitmoyer as he explained the charges.
“No one was in the vehicle I hit? Thank God. I’m glad I didn’t hurt anyone,” Whitmoyer said. Whiteman ordered him back to jail after he was unable to post $10,000 bail.