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Police Cars Damaged by Accused Drunk Driver

The Sunbury police department has become the victim of a crime. 

An alleged drunk driver crashed into two police cars Wednesday morning and it was all caught on security cameras.

State police said a man from West Virginia admitted he had too much to drink when he crashed into three parked cars early Wednesday morning.  Two of those cars belonged to the police department, and Sunbury’s police chief said the loss of two patrol cars will affect the department.

Two of the Sunbury police department’s five patrol cars are no longer patrolling the streets.  Instead they’re at an auto body shop.

“Two of our police vehicles were damaged by a drunk driver. One of the police vehicles was actually pushed up onto the sidewalk,” said Sunbury Police Chief Stephen Mazzeo.

It wasn’t just the two police cars that were hit. Chief Mazzeo said a sergeant’s personal vehicle was parked here. It was hit so hard it went up onto the sidewalk and hit a building on Market Street.

Surveillance cameras outside the Sunbury Police Department caught it all. The crash happened around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

State police said Derek Lavoie of West Virginia was driving on Market Street when he hit the cars.  He was arrested and released on bail.  Police said tests showed Lavoie’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

According to court papers, after the crash Lavoie told police, “I guess I had too much to drink and tonight became what it became.  It’s all my fault.” 

Police said Lavoie does not have a valid driver’s license or car insurance.

“We’re hoping the insurance we get from our own insurance will repair one of the vehicles.  We’re going to have to see what the city can afford mid-year to see if we can replace the other vehicle.  If not, it’s going to create some hardships for us as far as patrolling,” Chief Mazzeo said.

He added he plans to meet with city officials to see how soon the cars can be fixed or replaced.  

Derek Lavoie was released on bail and is scheduled to be back in court next week.


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