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Police: Alcohol level high for driver in fatal

Kirra L. McPeek faces a hearing in the crash in Hanover Township.

Kirra L. McPeek is charged in a fatal crash in Hanover Township in October.

CLARK VAN ORDEN/THE TIMES LEADER

HANOVER TWP. – A Wilkes-Barre woman had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times above the legal limit after she killed a motorist in a head-on collision on the Sans Souci Parkway in October, according to charges filed on Thursday.

Kirra L. McPeek, 23, of Nicholson Street, surrendered at the office of District Judge Joseph Halesey on charges of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. She was released on $25,000 unsecured bail after her attorney, Frank Nocito, said she was not a flight risk.

Township police and Luzerne County detectives alleged McPeek had a blood alcohol level of .238 percent after she crashed a 2002 Saturn Vue into a 1995 Mitsubishi Galant, driven by Mykhaylo Meshko, 50, of Wilkes-Barre, on Oct. 31.

An adult driver in Pennsylvania is considered legally intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent.

“Our evidence shows her blood alcohol level of .238 percent. Basically, that’s close to three times the limit of intoxication,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Vough said. “She was driving in the wrong lane of travel on the Sans Souci Parkway striking the victim’s car head-on resulting in the victim’s death.”

McPeek was a patron at Screwballz Bar and Grille on the parkway before the crash. The tavern is about 200 yards from where the head-on crash occurred.

According to the criminal complaint:

Investigators alleged a tavern surveillance camera recording showed McPeek consuming five draft beers and five liquor shots from 7:40 p.m. Oct. 30 to 1:22 a.m. Oct. 31.

Eight minutes later at 1:30 a.m., a motorist called 911 to report the driver of a SUV was traveling in the wrong lane of travel and almost struck a passing vehicle. Investigators alleged McPeek’s SUV struck Meshko’s vehicle head-on after the initial 911 call.

David Stritzinger, a passing motorist, stopped when he approached the crash and saw McPeek hitting the steering wheel and screaming, “My grandpa’s gonna kill me … I’m drunk,” the criminal complaint says.

McPeek and a passenger in her vehicle, George Andrejko, of Regal Street, Hanover Township, were treated at local hospitals for minor injuries. A passenger in Meshko’s vehicle, Yuriy Turyanytasya, was also treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Vough said the investigation found Andrejko was intoxicated.

“To our indication, (Andrejko) was also intoxicated to the point I think they made a decision she was the safer driver than him,” Vough said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Feb. 23 before Halesey.

First reported at

10:50

a.m.

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