"He was acting reckless in just about everyway you can. He was speeding, he was passing on the right, passing on the berm," Said Trooper Mark Prushinski, from Pennsylvania State Police.
Troopers say the 23 year old from Glen Falls, New York, was behind the wheel of a car that went off the ride side of the road, hitting and killing 73-year-old David Decker on Interstate 81 in Great Bend Township in May. Troopers believe Decker had properly pulled off the road and was checking out a noise on his vehicle at the time.
"He heard a noise and he pulled over, his wife was in the passenger seat. He took a look at the vehicle and as he looked up, he got hit by the guy," Prushinski said.
Troopers estimate Schmiel was driving 78-miles-an-hour at the time of the crash. Eyewitnesses say his actions on the road were erratic -- as he weaved between lanes right before the crash.
"When you look at all the charges, it talks about reckless, it talks about negligence, it talks about carelessness, it talks about, you know, there's just so many aspects of culpability and pretty must he did all of them," Prushinski said.
According to court paperwork, Schmiel told troopers he doesn't remember what happened right before the crash because he blacked out -- blaming it on post-traumatic stress disorder. Troopers say their investigation will show Schmiel had marijuana in his system at the time of the wreck.
"When we did the investigation, we found out that in his blood, he admitted to smoking marijuana and in his blood there's a significant amount of marijuana in him which would impair him significantly and probably led to the bad decisions that he did," Prushinski said.
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