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Firefighter charged with DUI after crashing fire truck

The volunteer firefighter, who refused a blood test, was also driving with a suspended license


The Herald

SHARON, Pa. — A volunteer fireman is facing driving under the influence charges in connection with an incident that ended with a damaged fire truck, a crash into a telephone pole and a small geyser of water from a fire hydrant.

At 11:51 a.m. Saturday, Sharon police officers M. Paul Lehman and Adam Zazado were dispatched to South Dock and Budd streets in response to a call regarding a disabled West Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department fire truck.

A caller reported that the driver had exited the vehicle and was asking for someone to “give him a lift.”

When the officers arrived at the scene, they saw the damaged truck, a 2016 Ford F550, in the middle of the intersection.

Zazado reported seeing a man, later identified as Curtis Allen Cottrill, 30, of 65 W. Walnut St., West Middlesex, walking down the hill at Budd Street and Walnut Avenue.

Officers stopped Cottrill and administered several field tests. They then placed him under arrest for driving under the influence. They discovered later that Cottrill, who refused a blood test, also was driving with a suspended license.

Lehman said in his report that while he was taking Cottrill into custody, he was advised that officers from the Shenango Township and Farrell police departments also were headed to the scene.

Shenango Township officers said they would be filing charges against Cottrill for taking the truck from the fire department, according to the police report.

The Farrell officer reported that Cottrill struck a telephone pole and a fire hydrant in Farrell, which caused the damage to the truck.

Aqua Pennsylvania spokeswoman Donna Aniston said the company responded to a call “around noon” Saturday that the fire hydrant on Indiana Avenue in Farrell was sheared off.

Water erupted from the line until utility crews arrived, she said.

The crew had to shut down the line for repairs, causing a one-block section of the street to be without water for 30 minutes or so until the repairs were completed.

Cottrill was taken to the Sharon Police Department, where Lehman reported finding two small bags in the suspect’s wallet that contained suspected illegal substances. The officer reported that he later identified the substance as cocaine. He also said he discovered three wrappers for Suboxone that were empty and had been used.

Cottrill was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance, use and possession of drug paraphenalia and driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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