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Driver involved in fatal crash charged

Published December 05. 2019 05:29AM

The driver involved in a fatal crash in Schuylkill County on Thanksgiving Day is facing multiple felony charges, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.

State police at Frackville said Leon J. Charles, 49, of Mount Rainier, Maryland, was arrested on Tuesday upon his release from the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Cedar Crest, where he was taken following the crash that occurred around 6 a.m. along Interstate 81 in Kline Township.

He was also charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, and accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed.

Misdemeanor charges included possession of a controlled substance and DUI of a controlled substance, and motor vehicle code violations of driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, reckless driving and careless driving.

He was arraigned before on-call District Judge David Plachko, of Port Carbon, and committed to the county prison in Pottsville after failing to post $500,000 cash bail.

Troopers said Charles was operating a 2015 Nissan Versa northbound when the vehicle entered the median and rolled over, coming to rest in the median on the driver side.

A passenger, James R. Muse, 48, of Glen Allen, Virginia, was injured and taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital. He died of his injuries on Nov. 29.

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