Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz of Kittatinny is looking at the possibility of up to 10 years in prison after being arrested Saturday afternoon for driving while intoxicated and causing a serious accident. Petykiewicz, 56, suffered no injuries, but his BAC was measured at .14, which is well over the legal limit of .08. The victim suffered serious injuries.
The victim is identified as 42 year-old Robert Doane, also from Kittatinny. He was found in his car, bleeding heavily from his head and complaining of stomach pain. Paramedics feared he may have had a back or spine injury, so they transported Doane by helicopter to the hospital in Wilkes-Barrie. No serious back injury was found.
Doane is in stable condition at the hospital with a few broken ribs, a broken jaw, and scrapes and bruises.
The accident happened early Saturday afternoon at the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road in the town of Frontenac. Doane was heading north on Highway 117 and going the speed limit when Petykiewicz turned left off of Fonebone Road and hit the driver side door of Doane’s Buick. Both cars went skidding upright into a farmer’s field.
The Buick had lots of damage to the driver side door, and it would not open. When paramedics arrived, they had to carefully get Doane out of the passenger side door.
The only damage Petykiewicz and his Ford sustained was a heavily smashed up front end. The deputy that responded to the crash said Petykiewicz had slurred speech and his breath and car smelled like vodka. An open bottle of vodka was also found in the car.
When asked if he had been drinking, Petykiewicz said, “You’d be drinking too if you were me.” He also begged the deputy if they could “keep this quiet? I’m the mayor of Kittatinny.”
Petykiewicz was then arrested and taken to the county jail, where he then was fingerprinted and had mug shots taken. Petykiewicz’s wife posted bail, which was set at $500.
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau says a hearing will be held in District Court on Tuesday morning at 9. Morgenthau also said that Petykiewicz is being charged with “causing great bodily harm by impaired use of a motor vehicle.
Alice Magarian, who was following behind Doane, said that Petykiewicz did not completely stop at the stop sign on Fonebone Road. Instead, the witness said he seemed to hesitate and then pulled out in front of Doane.
President of the Kittatinny City Council, Denelda Penoyer, says they will have an emergency meeting Monday evening before Petykiewicz’s court hearing to talk about the situation. This meeting will be closed to the public. She also mentioned that an elected official convicted of a felony automatically loses their job. She declined to comment when asked if Petykiewicz should resign immediately.
If the mayor resigns or is convicted, an election will take place to determine the new mayor. This election will be held on the first Tuesday that is at least 30 days after the council’s decision.