OldArchive / Community

Bath Salts Play Into Unusual Crime



Two Waverly men face charges for a bizarre hit-and-run incident that occurred at about 10:30 p.m. on May 17 in Sayre. Borough police arrested Ryan Skovira, 26, and Matthew P. Matushin, 27, for hitting the new Guthrie Pediatrics building at North Elmer Avenue and Bradford Street, as well as the outdoor sign for the facility, then fleeing the scene and hiding in the garage of a nearby residence without permission of the owner.

According to a pair of police reports, witnesses who saw the collision called police and identified the Nissan Pathfinder owned by Skovira and driven that evening by Matushin. As the patrolman arrived in the area, he was flagged down by a Hoover Street resident who asked the officer if he was looking for a Nissan Pathfinder with front-end damage that he had just seen traveling at a high rate of speed up and down the street in an apparent attempt to free sections of the Guthrie Pediatrics sign that were lodged underneath. After several attempts, the vehicle pulled into a residential garage near the intersection of Hoover and Draper Streets.

As per the witness’s directions, the reporting officer approached the garage and heard Skovira and Matushin talking quietly inside. The policeman knocked on the garage door and asked the men to come out, which they did. In his report, the officer noted that both men appeared to be visibly shaken, and they readily admitted to their actions.

Skovira and Matushin explained that they had gone to the Dandy Mini Mart on North Elmer Avenue to purchase hot dogs. Skovira’s hot dog was messy, so Matushin reportedly offered to drive so that Skovira could eat. The men allegedly admitted that they were “probably driving too fast” when the vehicle slid on gravel on the roadway, leading them to drive over the curbing, into the building and through the sign.

“The building has some paint transfer from the car but, aside from that, suffered no damage, thank heavens,” said Guthrie Health System public relations manager Maggie Barnes. “The sign, on the other hand, was completely destroyed.”

The high speed and erratic driving witnessed by the Hoover Street resident actually succeeded in dislodging the sign pieces, most of which were found between Bradford and Hoover Streets, several yards from the accident scene. Barnes noted that the pediatric center was not yet operational at the time of the accident, so no staff members or clients were in harm’s way. A move into the new facility was slated to take place this past weekend.

The officer then administered field sobriety tests to both men, which they failed. Skovira and Matushin were taken into custody and transported to the Towanda Police Department where Towanda police officer Randy Epler performed a visual and verbal drug-screening test, at which point Matushin allegedly conceded to using synthetic bath salts earlier in the day. He was then transported to Towanda Memorial Hospital to have blood drawn and taken back to Sayre where charges were filed.

The Pathfinder was towed from the garage on Draper Street. In the process of securing the vehicle, police found several hypodermic needles inside. There was also a hypodermic needle found inside a knit cap—believed to be Skovira’s—in the garage next to where the vehicle had been parked.

Skovira was charged with criminal trespass, possession of drug paraphernalia, and an accident involving damage to a property. In addition to those same charges, Matushin was charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $25,000 for Skovira and at $40,000 for Matushin. Both men faced a May 24 preliminary hearing.






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