Driver Was High When Car Flipped on Route 208, Cops Say

The 20-year-old man was charged with driving while under the influence, reckless driving, possession of marijuana and possession of narcotics in a motor vehicle.

A Hawthorne man was charged with DUI and reckless driving after a single-car accident on Route 208 Thursday morning.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the Wyckoff Police Department responded to a report of an overturned vehicle on Route 208 South between Russell and Cedar Hill avenues.

Israel Amaya, 20, of Hawthorne, was driving a 2008 Smart Car Four Two when he drove into the center barrier of the highway and overturned the vehicle, according to Wyckoff Police.

A witness stated that the driver inexplicably swerved out of his lane and into the barrier, cops said, and Amaya sustained minor injuries.

Officers on scene reported smelling marijuana in the vehicle and also found a small quantity of marijuana in the car, according to police.

Wyckoff Volunteer Ambulance Corps transported Amaya to Valley Regional Hospital in Ridgewood where a blood sample was obtained.

Test results wouldn't come back for weeks, according to Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox, "but the driver admitted to smoking marijuana in the car." 

Lt. David Murphy and Officer Brenda Groslinger assisted in the investigation.

Subsequent to the accident there was a minor collision between cars caught in nearby traffic that stretched back to at least Franklin Lakes, according to Fox.

Have a question or news tip for Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Patch? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Scondo February 14, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Will all the stoners please explain to us again how marijuana is harmless when compared to alcohol. I have failed to get the message the last 300 times I have seen that claim made. Hey doesn't one have to be smart to drive a Smart Car.
Phil Brooks February 14, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Smart Car. Dumb driver.
Cliff Haas February 14, 2013 at 09:03 PM
I am not a stoner but I will be bold enough to respond anyway. Neither are harmless though I don't suspect Marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol. This story could just as easily read "the police smelled alcohol from the open container that spilled during the accident and the driver admitted to drinking while driving". The issue here is driving impaired by any means is unsafe to all on the road. Attend the funeral of just one victim of this sort of behavior and you quickly realize that dead is dead regardless of the specific impairment that created the fatality.
Scondo February 14, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Well, Cliff you clearly are not a stoner----How can I tell ? Because you know that impaired is impaired regardless of source. That is the essential truth and that is the essential truth that the stoner will try and avoid.
Steve Becker February 14, 2013 at 10:39 PM
That was always my rationale for it being illegal and never using it. Unlike alcohol, there is not other intent in using marajuana except to get wasted (before being OK'd for medical use). While liquid replenishment is a necessary part of human life, there is no such need to inhale burning air, regardless of the source. A glass of wine or a beer serves a useful function, relieving thirst, and one may partake of alcohol without the intent or result of becoming wasted. Never saw anyone smoke pot that wasn't trying to get high (again, excusing medical use). And inhaling smoke in any form is toxic.
Anita Remjob February 15, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Jackie says: smoking weed smoking weed drinking booze drinking booze smoking pot smoking pot ohhhh yeahhh!
Olivia February 15, 2013 at 03:01 AM
very deathly!!!!!!! stay away. pot kills.
maureen February 16, 2013 at 04:21 PM
The only reason pot is illegal and alcohol is not is due to politics and greed. When Prohibition was over, William Randolph Hearst owned a newspaper empire and also a number of forests. He realized that the by-product of marijuana was hemp which is a much cheaper source to produce paper than cutting down trees. He then employed the senator who was in charge of Prohibition regulation ( who would soon be unemployed ) to be in the new founded Narcotic commission to make marijuana illegal. Hence, alcohol & smoking become legal and marijuana illegal. Alcohol causes cirrhosis and liver failure, and smoking results in emphysema and COPD . What exactly does marijuana cause .. the munchies ?
Stephen Oliver February 16, 2013 at 04:41 PM
BeachBum February 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Surprised it wasnt one of the nj housewives or any of their family members
Jimmy J February 18, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Did anyone read the article? It stated that the eyewitness saw the car swerve suddenly . Sounds more like text messaging to me , which In my opinion is twice as dangerous as acohol or pot... The pot smell in the car was just another byproduct of this guys bad judgement..Thank god nobody was hurt..
Bob February 18, 2013 at 09:55 PM
"glass of wine or a beer serves a useful function, relieving thirst" alcohol was important as it was the only way you could keep microbes out of your drinking liquids. Until not that long ago most water could kill you, still does in the rest of the world. Now alcohol is just to get drunk, but most people claim some other reason. Nobody was born going "wow alcohol tastes good" its an acquired taste at best.
Bob February 18, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Of all things pot might make one do, anything "suddenly" ain't one of them!
RWDsRiches February 24, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I am a stoner. I do not drive impaired under any circumstance, so please stop with the ignorant comments.
Anne Harrington March 04, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Too bad he wasn't killed


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