Selkirk woman hits BC bus, charged with DWAI

A crash with a Bethlehem school bus in Delmar has led to a drug charge for one local woman.

Patricia A. Simonds, 52, of Selkirk, was arrested on Jan. 9 for misdemeanor driving while ability impaired by drugs and following too close, an infraction.

Bethlehem police said they responded to a property-damage auto accident at the intersection of Cherry and Delaware avenues, and when they arrived on the scene, police discovered Simonds had stuck a Bethlehem Central school bus with her vehicle.

She was evaluated by Albany County and Delmar rescue EMS crews and was found to have been wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident, according to the arrest report. Police said Simonds appeared to have no injuries or physical marks and she made no complaints of injury to medical workers aside from comments about a pre-exiting back injury.

Simonds is a diabetic but emergency workers reported her blood-sugar levels as normal, and the report states, although she did not have alcohol on her breath, she 'exhibited symptoms of physical impairment.'

She told officers she took medication prior to driving, included muscle relaxers, oxycodone and three other prescription drugs, the report states.

Simonds husband arrived on the scene regarding his wife's condition, according to police, and during a medical evaluation she "did physically continue downward to the point she was nodding off to sleep in the ambulance."

Simonds was read her DWAI warning, agreed to take a chemical blood test and was transported to the St. Peter's Hospital emergency room for evaluation, where blood samples were secured, the report states.

Police said Simonds made several "disoriented statements" to nurses while at the ER, saying that she "believed today was Sunday," when in fact it was a Friday, and that "the crash was on Washington Ave. Extension" in Albany instead of in Delmar.

Her blood samples were sent to State Police for analysis, according to police, and she is scheduled to appear in Bethlehem Town Court on Feb. 18.


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