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Police Blotter


February 19. 2013 6:41PM
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EATON TWP. – A 29-year-old woman was killed when the car in which she was traveling struck a tree on Keelersburg Road at 11:52 p.m. Tuesday, according to state police.


State police said the woman was a passenger in a 2001 Chevrolet pickup, driven by Clayton Drew Firth, 34, of Tunkhannock, which went off the road on a left-hand curve and struck a tree near the intersection of Keelersburg Road and Route 29. Neither Firth nor his passenger was wearing a seatbelt, state police said.


The woman was transported by medical helicopter to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, where she was pronounced dead, state police said.


Firth was taken to Tyler Hospital in Tunkhannock then to Geisinger Wyoming Valley for treatment, state police said.


State police said Wednesday they are continuing investigation of the crash.


HAZLETON – Two people were injured Tuesday in a two-vehicle crash on Tresckow Road, state police said.


State police said Donald K. Betterly, 42, of Drums, lost control of his GTM sports car while traveling southwest on Tresckow Road at 1:09 p.m. Tuesday. The car went off the southeast side of the road and struck a utility pole then a tree.


The impact caused the pole to fall into the roadway, striking an International Harvester truck driven by Joseph J. Potase of Duncannon.


Betterly and a passenger in his vehicle, Philip D. Geiser of Berwick, suffered moderate injuries in the crash; Potase was not injured, according to state police.


BERWICK – Police arrested a man on drug charges after uncovering an alleged methamphetamine laboratory on Fairview Avenue.


Police said they responded Wednesday to a report of narcotics being manufactured at 1540 Fairview Ave., and they were told by family members of Tyler Bitler, 20, that they believed Bitler was using or manufacturing narcotics.


Police said they found items consistent with methamphetamine manufacturing inside Bitler's room and a common area in the home, including stripped lithium batteries, latex glove, burnt tin foil and a propane torch.


Bitler was arrested at the home and a search warrant was later executed to recover items consistent with meth cooking, police said.


A clandestine laboratory response team from the Pennsylvania State Police was called in to remove hazardous materials from the alleged meth lab.


Bitler was arraigned Wednesday before District Judge Marvin Shrawder, Danville, on three counts of possession of red phosphorous etc. with intent to manufacture controlled substances, two counts each of manufacturing, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and risking catastrophe and a single count of internal possession of a controlled substance.


He was lodged at Columbia County Prison for lack of $50,000 straight bail.


A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 29.




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