Knox Man Charged with Vehicular Homicide Had Fentanyl in His Blood

| November 22, 2022

police-line-new-versionPAINT TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Knox man who is facing vehicular homicide charges stemming from a crash that occurred on August 22 on State Route 66 in Paint Township, Clarion County, reportedly had fentanyl in his blood at the time of the accident.

According to a criminal complaint filed on November 8, 2022, and released on November 21, 2022, 34-year-old Nicholas Andrew Colwell was found to have Fentanyl in his blood at the time of the crash that resulted in the deaths of 54-year-old Carrie A. Hunt, of Clarion, and 73-year-old Gilbert E. Slaugenhaupt, of Shippenville.

Court documents indicate that Colwell was arraigned on November 16 at 5:40 p.m. in front of Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller on the following charges:

– Homicide by Vehicle While DUI, Felony 2 (two counts)
– Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Reckless Driving, Summary
– Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
– Fail to Use Safety Belt – Driver and Front Seat Occupant, Summary
– Careless Driving – Unintentional Death, Summary
– Obedience to Traffic-Control Devices, Summary
– Fail to Keep Right, Summary
– Operate Vehicle without Valid Inspection, Summary

According to Clarion-based State Police, the fatal crash occurred around 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22, along Paint Boulevard (State Route 66), near Doe Run Road, in Paint Township, Clarion County.

Police say a 2013 Chevrolet CK3500 pickup driven by Colwell was traveling north on State Route 66 and allegedly crossed over the centerline into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 1999 Mercury driven by Carrie Hunt.

According to the criminal complaint, around 5:07 p.m. on August 22, a PSP Clarion Trooper spoke with the driver of the 2013 Chevrolet pickup–Nicholas Colwell.

The complaint states that Colwell “was walking around the crash and had to be told several times to sit on the guide rail.” Colwell related that he was coming home from work and “he thought he fell asleep, but he did not know.” He said all he knows is “the car was just there.” He had no idea which lane he was in when he struck the Mercury. He related he was weaving in and out of traffic but did not know why. He also stated he had no idea if he was in the north- or southbound lanes at the time of the crash.

The complaint notes that Colwell’s pickup was determined to be entirely in the southbound lane at the time of the crash.

At this time, the PSP trooper confirmed the operator of the 1999 Mercury–Carrie Hunt–was deceased. The trooper was advised by EMS that a passenger in the Mercury–Gilbert Slaughenhaupt– was in bad shape and might not make it. Slaugenhaupt had to be mechanically extracted from the vehicle. He was pronounced deceased at the Clarion Hospital. Another passenger in the Mercury–43-year-old Heather M. Garrett, of Strattanville–was mechanically extracted from the back seat and flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of injuries, the complaint states.

The PSP trooper again spoke with Colwell who once again related he did not know what happened. At this time, he was taken to Clarion Hospital by EMS, the complaint notes.

According to the complaint, around 8:43 p.m., the trooper arrived at Clarion ER to request blood from Colwell. While speaking to Clarion Hospital staff, Colwell appeared to be lethargic and/or sleeping. He had to be awakened several times in order to ask if he would consent to a blood draw. He refused a blood draw, and he again passed out. A search warrant for blood was applied for and granted by Magisterial District Judge Heeter, and a blood draw was conducted at Clarion Hospital.

On September 12, 2022, NMS Lab results showed a positive finding of Fentanyl 21 +/-6 ng/ml and Norfentanyl 13 +/-4 ng/ml, according to the complaint.

Colwell is currently free on $50,000.00 unsecured bail.

He is due in court for a preliminary hearing on December 6 at 11:00 a.m. in front of Judge Timothy P. Schill.


Knox Man Faces Two Counts of Homicide by Vehicle in DUI-Related Crash

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Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls, Regional News

Gavin Fish is a reporter for EYT Media Group and YouTuber based in Venango County. In addition to his YouTube Channel, he has contributed to investigations and reports for ABC News, Investigation Discovery, and Fox Nation, and has collaborated on projects developed for Netflix, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
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