Warrant issued for man charged in DUI-related police crash

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Two Ashley police officers were injured in a head-on crash on North Main Street on April 8, 2018. Courtesy WNEP Two Ashley police officers were injured in a head-on crash on North Main Street on April 8, 2018. Courtesy WNEP -

WILKES-BARRE — A Hazleton man charged with being drunk when he crashed head-on with an Ashley police cruiser injuring two officers is a wanted man.

Luzerne County Judge Joseph M. Augello issued a bench warrant for Josue Valdez, 29, when he failed to appear for a court proceeding Tuesday.

Court records say Valdez was scheduled to appear before Augello for a guilty plea in regards to the crash on North Main Street, Ashley, on April 8, 2018.

Patrolman Joshua Smith and Sgt. Joseph McGlynn were injured in the crash. They were treated at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Hanover Township police investigated the crash at the request of Ashley Police Chief David Fedorczyk.

According to the criminal complaint:

Smith, operating the cruiser, and McGlynn, a passenger, were traveling north on North Main Street when they spotted a 2008 Honda traveling south at a high rate of speed.

Valdez was driving the Honda.

Smith claimed Valdez’s vehicle crested the hill to a bridge and became airborne before landing behind a parked vehicle. Valdez swerved to avoid the parked vehicle but instead drove into on-coming traffic and collided with the cruiser.

Smith attempted to avoid a collision but Valdez’s vehicle struck the cruiser head-on.

Police recovered a bottle of whisky that was nearly empty stuffed between the seats inside Valdez’s vehicle, the complaint says.

Police said in the complaint Valdez had a blood-alcohol level of 0.128 percent.

Valdez was charged May 8, 2018, with two counts of driving under the influence, and one count each of driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, disregard travel lane and restrictions on alcoholic beverages. He was free on $5,000 unsecured bail.

Two Ashley police officers were injured in a head-on crash on North Main Street on April 8, 2018. Courtesy WNEP
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/web1_Ashley-police-car-crash.jpgTwo Ashley police officers were injured in a head-on crash on North Main Street on April 8, 2018. Courtesy WNEP

By Ed Lewis

[email protected]