WILLIAMSPORT - As he sped along High Street late Wednesday night allegedly intoxicated on alcohol and drugs, motorist Scott Allen Treese suddenly struck "something," city police were told.
"I was hoping it was a dog," the 34-year-old Loyalsock Township man later told investigators.
It was not any animal that Treese's coupe struck, but 46-year-old Mark A. Jeirles, who was attempting to cross the street, just east of Sixth Avenue, about 11:30 p.m.
The impact struck Jeirles so hard that he was knocked out of his sneakers, police said. His body landed 30 yards away, right in the middle of the intersection, police said. Investigators said Jeirles, who lived in the city on Taylor Place, was killed on impact.
Treese never stopped, but kept heading west on High Street, police alleged in court papers.
Information given to police through their investigation led them to Treese as a possible suspect.
A maroon Eagle Talon, registered to Treese, was located outside his home at 2613 Wilmont Drive late Thursday afternoon, police said. Wilmont Drive is a small street just south of East Third Street and Country Club Drive.
The two-door car "had damage to it that was consistent with remnants found at the accident scene," Patrolman Brian Aldinger said in an affidavit.
Officers found Treese at home and questioned him about the damaged vehicle.
"He admitted the car was his and that he had 'hit something' on High Street last (Wednesday) night." Aldinger said. Treese was taken into custody and driven to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where he agreed to a blood test, Aldinger said.
During further questioning at police headquarters, Treese, an unemployed father of a school-age girl, "admitted that he had been drinking alcohol and used cocaine just prior to the accident," Aldinger said.
He faces felony charges of vehicular homicide, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol and a controlled substance, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence and accidents involving death or personal injury (hit-run). Police also charged him with driving under the influence, reckless driving and careless driving.
At his 11:50 p.m. arraignment before District Judge Jerry C. Lepley, Treese said he had lived at the Wilmont Drive address for just two weeks and that he resided in the 600 block of Second Avenue before that. He told Lepley that he had two prior drunk driving arrests, dating back to the 1990s. He admitted that he was addicted to alcohol.
"This is serious. I'm sure you know that," Lepley told Treese before setting bail at $250,000. Unable to post that amount, Treese was committed to the Lycoming County Prison.