OldArchive / Police Blotter

Police Notes from Towanda, Tunkhannock, Gibson and Laporte Barracks

Driver Dies Near Sheshequin

A 20-year-old resident of Tioga, PA, lost her life on the afternoon of March 1 when the car she was driving along River Road in Sheshequin Township was slammed by a pickup truck at the intersection with Ghent Hill Road.

State police report that Tiffany L. Frost died from injuries sustained and was apparently pronounced dead at the accident scene. A passenger in her 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier, Shelby L. Spencer, 18, of Troy, was life-flighted to the Robert Packer Hospital with injuries described as moderate. The other driver, Steven R. Heitzenrater, 49, was not injured in the 3:14 p.m. accident.

It appears that Heitzenrater entered the intersection from Ghent Hill Road without proper clearance and faces a citation for driving through a stop sign there. He was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD.

Frost, according to state police, was driving with a suspended license. The investigation into this accident continues.

Forty Burglaries Investigated

The targets were primarily hunting cabins and seasonal dwellings encompassing as many as seven townships in Susquehanna County, with the first of 40 being investigated occurring on Jan. 15.

State police in Gibson say force was used to gain entry in these residential burglaries, "usually by forcing open a window or door." As for the items stolen, state police say they ranged from souvenirs and household goods to cash and electronics. There was no estimate on the dollar amount of items stolen in these 40 burglaries. The townships involved were Lenox, Gibson, Harford, Ararat, Clifford, Herrick and New Milford.

Citizens are asked to take notice of any unusual pedestrian traffic, day or night, and to report any suspicious activity to 570-465-3154. Please reference "cabin burglaries" when calling.

2010 Death Still Being Probed

Pennsylvania State Police apparently are still investigating the suspicious death of 49-year-old Patricia Hoagland, whose body was found on Sept. 2 of last year in the Lomoka section of Schrader Creek.

Hoagland, who apparently died by drowning on Sept. 1, was found to have alcohol and various pharmaceuticals in her system at an autopsy conducted a few days later at the Lehigh Medical Center in Allentown. The official cause of death was by drowning, but it was also regarded as suspicious from the outset.

The location of the swimming hole is along Weston Road in Franklin Township. A cash award of up to $2,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest. Call state police at Towanda at 570-265-2186 or 800-4-PA-TIPS.

No February Fatalities Reported

Pennsylvania State Police at the Towanda Station have released their February statistical report showing no fatal accidents during the month on Bradford County roadways. There were 108 motor vehicle accidents investigated over the 28 days, four of them DUI-related, with 31 people reported injured.

Under other patrol statistics, they reported 13 hit-and-run accidents and made 21 DUI arrests. They also issued 619 traffic citations and 196 warnings.

Under criminal activity, they investigated 107 founded offenses, made 62 criminal arrests and cleared 65 cases.

Multiple Injuries in Crash

Minor injuries were reported to five passengers—four of them children between the ages of two and five—as the result of a one-vehicle accident on Route 187 in Bradford County's Windham Township on Feb. 25 at 9:47 a.m. The driver, Teresa L. Garra, 26, Wysox, sustained injuries of unknown severity.

State police report that Garra was northbound in a 2006 Ford Expedition and rounding a left curve when she lost control on the snow-covered road. The vehicle went into a ditch, struck a tree and then overturned. All occupants were transported to the Robert Packer Hospital for treatment. Child safety seats and seat belts were used.

Garra was cited for driving at an unsafe speed.

State Trooper Injured

A tractor-trailer collided with a state police vehicle parked along Interstate 81 near New Milford, sending a state trooper to be treated for moderate injuries.

On Feb. 25 at 7:50 a.m., a marked state police vehicle, a 2010 Ford Police Interceptor, was stopped on the left-hand shoulder of Interstate 81 in New Milford, facing north. The vehicle, driven by Trooper Joseph T. Bushta, 38, New Milford, was stopped as the trooper was attempting to control the speed of vehicles entering the backlog of another crash north of this location.

Winston J. Whitney, 39, Laredo, TX, was traveling north in the left-hand lane and upon negotiating a right curve in the roadway, Whitney lost control of his 2004 Freightliner Columbia. The semi-trailer portion began to slide on the roadway and the left rear wheels struck the right rear of the police car.

Whitney was not hurt. Trooper Bushta was treated for moderate injuries at CMC, Scranton.

State Police Vehicle Struck

A Pennsylvania State Trooper's parked vehicle was hit from behind in Susquehanna County last week.

On Feb. 25, at 6:11 p.m., as Trooper Glen Whitney, New Milford, was parked on the shoulder of the off ramp of Interstate 81, New Milford, assisting a disabled motorist, Zachary Barlow, Greensboro, NC, was attempting to exit the highway. In doing so, his 2001 Nissan truck slid on the ice-covered roadway and struck the rear portion of Whitney's 2011 Ford Expedition.

Barlow was not injured. Whitney received minor injuries and was treated at Wilson Memorial Hospital.

Driver Avoids Injury

A slush-covered roadway was a factor in a one-vehicle accident on a township road in Sullivan County's Cherry Township, state police report. The 64-year-old driver of the vehicle involved was uninjured after his 2003 Ford Escape left the road, went down an embankment and crashed into a tree.

The accident occurred on Feb. 25 at 8:45 a.m. and the driver, Lawrence N. Ruth, New Albany, was subsequently cited for driving in the wrong lane.

Man Accused of Injuring Child

Simple assault charges have been filed against a 29-year-old Towanda area man for allegedly injuring a nine-year-old boy after striking him in the face with an electrical cord.

State police say Jason Thetga's alleged actions on Feb. 8 resulted in a cut to the face of the victim. This is a continuing investigation. Call 265-2186 with information.

Church Parsonage Entered

Someone entered the parsonage of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church on Carpenter Street in Dushore through a locked door between the evening of Feb. 26 and the morning of Feb. 28, say state police in Laporte, who are investigating the incident.

Although nothing was reported missing as a result of this burglary and criminal trespass, police say there was damage to a basement door, and it appears the suspect roamed the building looking in closets and drawers. Anyone with information should contact state police at 570-946-4610.

Driver Flees Crash Scene

A Hallstead man faces charges after fleeing prior to police response to a motor vehicle accident in which he was involved, state police in Gibson report.

On Feb. 20 at 2:44 a.m., Brian M. Conrad, 28, Hallstead, was traveling north on State Route 1037, New York Ave., Great Bend Township, when he crossed the center of the road and exited the roadway. His 2006 GMC Sierra then hit a stone wall.

Conrad sustained moderate injuries and went to Lourdes Hospital for treatment.

Couple Trades Allegations

State police are investigating an incident on Marsh Road in Albany Township in which a couple is accusing each other of harassment after a dispute over a message on a cell phone.

State police say it started when a 20-year-old woman found a message from an unknown woman on her boyfriend's cell phone. The boyfriend was sleeping at the time and police say the woman threw a glass of cold water into his face. The 27-year-old male responded by shoving his girlfriend. His explanation, according to the police news release, was "she had ?overreacted' to his sociable personality."

Neither of the parties was identified and the alleged incident occurred on the morning of Feb. 23.

Car Flips onto Roof

Clinton J. Ficken, 50, Clifford Township, was driving west on State Route 2008, Clifford Township, when his 1998 Plymouth Breeze went off the snow-covered roadway on Feb. 25 at 3:15 a.m.

The vehicle struck an embankment, rolled over, then landed on its roof. Ficken was not injured, but was charged for driving at an unsafe speed.

Drugs, Paraphernalia Found

On Feb. 5, passenger Tasha Michelle Jacoby-Arauto, 36, Binghamton, NY, in a 1991 Toyota Camry, was found with vegetable matter soaked in PCP, a multi-colored glass pipe and 4.5 grams of marijuana after a consent to search was obtained.

This occurred on Interstate 81 northbound, Great Bend Township, after the vehicle was pulled over. Charges were filed in New Milford District Court.

Jewelry Stolen in Great Bend

Between Feb. 19-22, someone took three rings and a necklace from the residence of Karen Ruth Taylor, Halls Rd., Great Bend Borough.

Contact the Gibson Barracks at 465-3154 with any information on this stolen jewelry.

Driver Injured in Collision

On Feb. 22, Linda L. Norris, 57, Susquehanna, was pulling out of a driveway on Route 92, Jackson Township. A vehicle driven by Michael S. Dibble, 21, Susquehanna, struck Norris's in the right rear with its front end.

Norris's vehicle spun to its left, coming to rest off the side of the road. Dibble was taken to Barnes Kasson Hospital with injuries of unknown severity. Both face traffic citations.

Smoke Shop Burglarized

On Feb. 22 at 11:49 p.m., someone smashed the front window of Dave's Smoke Shop II, Mountain View Plaza. Taken were money and other items.

Call the Gibson Barracks with any information.





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