Two People Transported from Suspected DUI Crash on Route 219

RIDGWAY TWP., , Pa. (EYT) – Two people were transported by ambulance following a suspected DUI crash in Ridgway Township on Sunday night.

According to police, around 6:51 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, a three-vehicle crash occurred on Boot Jack Road, just north of Shelvey Sumit Road, in Ridgway Township, Elk County.

Police say a 2005 Chevrolet Impala, operated by 38-year-old Joel A. Hillard, of Ridgway, was attempting to pull out onto State Route 219 traveling east and failed to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.

A 2017 Range Rover Land Rover, operated by 58-year-old Bharatkumar S. Patel, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, was traveling south on State Route 219 and was unable to stop. Patel’s vehicle struck Hillard’s vehicle.

Following the initial impact, Patel’s vehicle traveled across to the left side of the roadway, struck a guide rail, then drifted back across both lanes of travel and struck a 2013 Honda Pilot that was legally parked in a parking lot.

Both drivers, Hillard’s passenger, 38-year-old Michael Baloga, of Ridgway, and Patel’s passengers, 27-year-old Sayan B. Patel, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, and 60-year-old Raxaben B. Patel, Wake Forest, North Carolina, were all wearing seatbelts.

Bharatkumar Patel and Raxaben Patel both suffered injuries of unknown severity and were transported to Penn Highlands Elk by Ridgway Ambulance Corporation.

Police say through investigation, it was determined that Hillard was driving under the influence of alcohol. He was taken into custody and charges are pending.

Ridgway-based State Police released the above report on Thursday, March 19, 2020.


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