Police Say Teacher Was Drunk When Teens Were Hit
A teacher was intoxicated when he hit five teenagers with his car then drove away from the scene, according to police in Northumberland County.
The man from Mount Carmel is an elementary school teacher in Shamokin.
According to Geisinger Medical Center, one of the injured teenagers is in serious condition. Two more are listed in fair condition and two were treated and released. All five are students at Mount Carmel Area High School.
Joseph Hajcak was inside his home in Mount Carmel Township Wednesday night when he heard a loud noise outside his house.
“A car came down the street here and was going pretty good. It was dragging something and at first I thought he was riding on his rims,” Hajcak recounted.
Police said the driver was Victor Swaboski, 38, a teacher in the Shamokin Area School District. Investigators said he was driving near Mount Carmel Elementary School when he hit five teenagers. Two of the teens were on bikes. Police said Swaboski’s car was dragging one of the bikes.
“From that point we were able to determine the car fled the scene on Route 2038,” said Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush.
Police said Swaboski drove about ten blocks from the school to the intersection of Poplar and Seventh streets. Police said he got out of the car, left his car on the side of the road and ran into the woods.
“He didn’t put up a fight, but he did have alcohol in his possession when we got control of him in the wooded area,” Chief Hollenbush added.
Andrew Campbell and Seanna Zimmerman were flown to Geisinger Medical Center. Another teen, Tyler Wondoloski, was also taken to Geisinger.
Campbell is listed in serious condition. Zimmerman and Wondoloski are listed in fair condition.
Two more teens, Jarret Schultz and Chelsea Troutman were treated and released.
Officials at Shamokin Area School District said Swaboski is a sixth grade teacher and has worked for the district for six years. Police said when Her fled the scene the five teens were left screaming for help.
“That’s a shocker, working with kids like he does. That was the bad part when I saw the bike was pulled out and he was still trying to get away. It’s crazy,” Hajcak added.
Justin Schoppy was sitting on his porch when police tried to catch the hit run driver.
“All a sudden I see a blue Jeep come flying up the street, barreling into the parking lot with police behind it. I saw a man jump out and run through the woods right here,” said Schoppy.
At the time, Schoppy said, he had no idea his cousin, Jarret Schultz, was one of the teens who was hit.
Schultz told Newswatch 16 he was riding his bike while his friends were walking. He said they were on this grass path about 10 feet away from traffic. He turned around when he heard a noise and a split second later he was knocked off his bike.
Schultz said he ran to his friends after they were hit. One of his friends wasn’t moving. He watched Swaboski drive away with one of the bicycles stuck under the vehicle. Schultz and his cousin both said they are in shock over what happened and that a teacher would do this.
“It’s unacceptable. They’re supposed to set an example, but here he is behind the wheel, possibly drunk, hitting children on the street,” said Schoppy.
Victor Swaboski is in the Northumberland County jail, unable to post bail.