The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 27, 2013

Admitted drunk who crashed into police cruisers placed on probation

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — A West Virginia man was sentenced in Northumberland County Court on charges that he was driving drunk when he slammed into two city police cruisers and a third vehicle in May.

Derek Lavoie, 31, of Sisterville, was arrested in May but later failed to appear in court on the charges.

District Judge Ben Apfelbaum issued a warrant for his arrest in May, but eight months later, he shocked police when he arrived at the station and simply said, “I surrender.”

Lavoie was taken into custody and placed in the Northumberland County Prison.

On Monday, President Judge Robert Sacavage sentenced Lavoie to five days to six months in jail with credit for time served, to pay a $1,000 fine and restitution and to serve probation.

Lavoie was released from prison and will be heading back to West Virginia, where he will serve his probation.

The accident took place at about 2:30 a.m. May 9 near the entrance to the Sunbury police station. State police at Stonington, who investigated, said Lavoie fell asleep while driving north on Market Street. His van crossed into the southbound lane and veered into the police cars, which were shoved into an officer’s personal vehicle.

Police said Lavoie’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.215 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. They also said he did not have a valid driver’s license or vehicle insurance.

The police vehicles sustained more than $20,000 in damage. The city had to pay a $2,000 deductible with the insurance company picking up the balance.

The cars were out of service for at least 30 days.