Drunk Driver Causes Crash
A New York man was drunk when he crashed his pickup truck head-on into another vehicle in Rice Twp. on Feb. 19, police say. Four people, including a child in 57-year-old Paul Lafranca’s truck, were injured. Though Lafranca refused a blood test, police said he smelled of alcohol and they ended up filing two counts aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence and one count DUI against him on Feb. 26. He was also charged with two counts aggravated assault by vehicle and one count each child endangerment, reckless driving and criminal mischief. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bail Feb. 26 by Magisterial District Judge Ferris Webby Sr., Wright Twp. Police said they were dispatched to the crash at 6:24 p.m., finding a gray truck with mud on it crashed into a black station wagon near Heslop Road. An officer crawled through a window to free Lafranca’s trapped 7-year-old son and a doctor on scene tended to him. Lafranca was found outside the vehicle bleeding from the head and forearm. He and the child were taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. The station wagon driver, Karen Fey, was bleeding from the head. She hit the front windshield and said her left arm was broken, while her passenger, Robert Fey, told police he couldn’t feel anything below the waist. Firefighters took the passenger side door off to remove both of them and they were taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, where it was determined Robert had a shattered pelvis, court papers state. Karen Fey said she was westbound on Nuangola Road when the truck crossed the center line and hit her, while Lafranca couldn’t recall what happened, police wrote. According to arrest papers, about a minute before the crash, a truck similar to Lafranca’s was spotted on police station video surveillance driving through the lawn before turning onto Nuangola Road.