The owner of a vehicle authorities say was involved in a double fatal hit-and-run crash early Sunday morning has four drugged-driving convictions since 2003, according to court records.
Walter Paul Raven, 59, of Industrial Drive, Jenkins Township, was arrested Sunday on charges unrelated to the crash that claimed the lives of Donnie Pizano, 38, and Robin Walsh, 39, both of Plains Township.
Pittston Township police allege Ravenā??s Buick struck a motorcycle Pizano was operating on state Route 315 at about 12:20 a.m. Sunday. Walsh was a passenger on the motorcycle.
Pizano and Walsh were not wearing helmets, according to the Luzerne County Coronerā??s Office.
Autopsies revealed Pizano and Walsh died from multiple traumatic injuries related to the crash.
Jenkins Township police officer Dion Fernandes spotted the Buick while Raven and Daniel Antonini, 46, were allegedly using a power washer to clean it Sunday afternoon at Ravenā??s residence.
Antonini told police Raven called him Sunday afternoon and asked him to help wash the Buick. Antonini stated Raven told him that Raven was in an accident but did not remember what he had struck, according to arrest records.
After the Buick was found, police learned there was an arrest warrant for Raven charging him with selling eight morphine tablets to an informant in Exeter in February 2011. Raven was allegedly found on Sunday with pills without a prescription.
Raven was charged with drug offenses and jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $30,000 bail. Antonini was charged with tampering with evidence and jailed for lack of $5,000 bail.
Court records say Raven has four convictions of driving under the influence of controlled substances from 2003 to 2005, and a drug trafficking conviction from 2006.
Walsh, an employee in the Luzerne County Clerk of Courts Office, likely handled Ravenā??s license suspensions. Her duties, among others, included processing license suspensions with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
According to court records:
ā?¢ Raven was sentenced Sept. 11, 2008, to one to two years in county prison when Wilkes-Barre police said he was under the influence of cocaine while operating a vehicle on North Pennsylvania Avenue on Dec. 1, 2005. He was paroled in March 2010.
ā?¢ A county judge sentenced Raven to 72 hours in jail on charges he was driving a vehicle while under the influence of cocaine in Wilkes-Barre on Sept. 12, 2004.
ā?¢ He was also sentenced to 48 hours in jail on separate counts of DUI on Dec. 31 and Nov. 29, 2003, according to court records.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled on Sept. 11.
For obituaries for Pizano and Walsh, see page 8A.