PINE TOWNSHIP – The driver of the vehicle that struck a motorcycle in Pine Township, killing one rider and injuring the other, while high on drugs was charged on Wednesday.
Paul J. Lenze, 21, of DuBois was charged by Trooper Nicholas Rickerson of the Clearfield-based state police with felony homicide by vehicle while DUI and homicide by vehicle.
He was also charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle and accidents involving death/injury while not licensed, plus related offenses.
The charges stem from a crash that occurred at 6:15 p.m. July 10 at the intersection of State Park and Anderson Creek roads, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
At the time of the crash, state police say the vehicle driven by Lenze was traveling south on State Park Road behind a motorcycle driven by Michael Solida, 53, of DuBois.
When Solida started to make a right-hand turn onto Anderson Creek Road, Lenze reportedly failed to reduce the speed of his vehicle, striking the right, rear corner of Solida’s motorcycle.
State police say the vehicle then traveled over the motorcycle after it exited the western side of the roadway. It continued off the roadway until impacting with a tree.
Solida’s passenger, Linda Solida, 57, also of DuBois, was pronounced dead by the Clearfield County Coroner. Michael Solida and Lenze were transported to UPMC Altoona by ambulance for treatment.
At the scene, Rickerson noticed Lenze had glassy eyes and slurred speech. The trooper interviewed the couple who traveled behind Lenze for approximately two miles.
They said Lenze reduced his speed and then accelerated numerous times. When Michael Solida slowed to turn, they said Lenze failed to, as well, which caused the collision.
They said Lenze drove over the motorcycle and Linda Solida before striking the tree. The couple then got out of their vehicle to provide assistance.
At the scene, Rickerson discovered a cell phone and a baggie of suspected methamphetamine approximately 10 feet from Lenze’s passenger side door.
Upon further investigation, it was learned that Lenze exited his vehicle on that side and staggered around, reportedly saying numerous times that he was going to jail.
On July 13, state police obtained a search warrant for Lenze’s blood from UPMC Altoona and medical records showed he had drugs in his system.
On July 28, Rickerson received a toxicology report that indicated Lenze was under the influence of amphetamine, meth, diazepam, nordiazepam and Delta-9 Carboxy THC.