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Driver charged with assault, DUI in December crash

LOCK HAVEN — A Lock Haven man has been charged with aggravated assault while driving under the influence, in connection with a violent two-vehicle crash that seriously injured the driver of the other vehicle.

Donald Wayne Bowman, 44, of 105 Gobblers Knob Lane, was arrested yesterday by state police at Lamar.

The arrest came more than eight months after the crash on Dec. 23, 2016, on Route 664, the Coudersport Pike, just below the Caldwell church.

Bowman was the driver of a pickup truck heading north that traveled into the southbound lane and hit the front passenger side of a Toyota Camry, occupied by two adults and one child, police said.

Bowman’s blood-alcohol content was .161 percent, police said.

The driver of the Camry, Brenda W. Yonkin, 50, of Galeton and her passenger, Megan Byrnes, 22, of Lock Haven were trapped in the car for about an hour. They were transported to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where Yonkin remained in critical condition for some time with a partially severed right hand, crushed left ankle and broken ribs, police said.

A 4-year-old toddler in Yonkin’s car suffered only minor injuries, thanks to being in a child safety seat, police said.

Police said evidence at the scene of the accident indicate Bowman was completely in the oncoming lane of travel and is at fault for the crash.

Bowman was lying on the ground when police arrived at the accident scene. He told police he was on his way home from the Rock Bottom, 2093 Island Road, Lock Haven, and that he had three or four beers. The bar is about 10 to 15 minutes from the location of the crash, police said.

Police said a very strong odor of alcoholic beverages was detected on Bowman’s breath while he was lying on the EMS stretcher and being put into an ambulance. The strong odor of alcohol was also evident inside Bowman’s truck, police said.

Besides aggravated assault while driving under the influence, Bowman is charged with aggravated assault, driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, not driving at a safe speed, not driving on roadways laned for traffic, careless driving and reckless driving.

He was arraigned before District Judge Joseph L. Sanders III on Thursday morning. Bail was set at $35,000 unsecured and he was released with a SCRAM bracelet. He was denied a public defender, and his first court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Central Court.

Asked if he had anything to say as his arraignment ended, Bowman said, “I feel terrible about this. I was having a bad time… family issues, my woman and I split up. I made some bad decisions. I hope to move on and make the best of my life.”

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