Driver’s Preliminary Hearing Set During June

NORTH COVENTRY PA – Court records show a June 18 (2020) preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Jay Douglas Ehrhart Jr., 33, of Boyertown, who is charged by the North Coventry Police Department with driving under the influence of a controlled substance (third offense) and possession of drug paraphernalia following a May 9 single-vehicle crash into a tree at about 10:07 p.m. in the 300 block of South Hanover Street.

Police and emergency medical services providers called to the scene, according to the department’s CrimeWatch website, were told en route the driver involved in the accident “was unresponsive.” When officers arrived, however, they found a man later identified as Ehrhart sitting on the front steps of a nearby building, with the vehicle they said he was driving “facing west against a large tree.”

Investigators later determined the vehicle driven by Ehrhart “was traveling west on East Main Street at a slow rate of speed, crossed west over both north and south bound lanes of South Hanover Street, struck a tree at 307 S. Hanover St., and came to rest,” their report stated. The car “sustained minor front end damage,” it added, and was towed from the scene.

During their investigation, police said Ehrhart told them “he was traveling from Boyertown PA to Phoenixville PA and fell asleep. Ehrhart appeared confused and did not provide any other information as to how the crash occurred,” the website report claimed. “While speaking with Ehrhart,” it continued, “police observed that his pupils were constricted, he had droopy eyelids, and he appeared drowsy.”

Ehrhart was then seen by Goodwill Ambulance personnel, but reportedly refused treatment and or transport to a hospital. While in the ambulance, police alleged they observed that Ehrhart’s pupils “were constricted and that they did not react to light.” Ehrhart later allegedly admitted to using narcotics earlier in the evening, and he submitted to field sobriety testing.

He was taken into custody, but police said he later refused to submit to a formal blood test.

Photo from the North Coventry Police Department