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DUI charges filed after deadly crash in Scranton

Noah Cohen accused of drunk driving

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Family and friends are mourning the loss of a 20-year-old man, a young father, who was killed in a deadly crash.

The wreck in Scranton early Friday morning had part of Pittston Avenue closed for ten hours while police investigated what happened.

Noah Cohen, 25, was arraigned Friday afternoon on DUI and reckless endangerment charges.

Police believe he was speeding down Pittston Avenue just before 2:30 AM when his vehicle collided with the victim's car.

Debris from the deadly wreck spanned nearly an entire city block.

Police say Robert Ortiz, 20, was in a red car driving on Breck Street when his vehicle was T-boned by a black Ford Crown Victoria driven by Cohen.

Ortiz died as a result of the wreck.

Nicole DiNardo called him her "little brother."

She says he had just left her house to pick up his car and was planning to be right back but never made it.

"From his house right on Cedar, just right up the street to Webster, he couldn't, he didn't even make it to Prospect because of someone else's stupidity," friend Nicole DiNardo said.

The crash at the intersection was so violent one of the vehicles ended up nearly 200 feet away.

Charles Simon raced outside when he heard the wreck.

"I came out here. I was on the phone with the police. I didn't notice the driver was out of the car yet," eyewitness Charles Simon said.

Neil Regan has owned a funeral home in the 1900-block of Pittston Avenue for 35 years.

 

He has seen a lot of crashes over the years but nothing like this.

"I heard a very short screech of brakes and then a double impact, boom boom and I looked out and saw whats over here," Neil Regan said.

Police have charged Noah Cohen with driving under the influence.

While he refused a blood test, investigators say he had trouble walking and talking and admitted drinking at a downtown Scranton bar before the wreck.

News of the arrest infuriated friends of the victim.

"I hope you know you took a 20-year-old young man's life, a father of two, a brother to so many, to so many, so many people love him out here and now he's just gone in the blink of an eye," DiNardo said.

Court papers indicate that Noah Cohen told police he didn't remember how many beers he had before getting behind hte wheel but said it was "less than six."

He is locked-up tonight on $75,000 bail.

Scranton police say the crash investigation is ongoing.

They expect to file additional charges against Noah Cohen when their work is complete.


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