Lehigh Valley

Driver charged in DUI wreck that pinned woman under vehicle

The victim was hospitalized for four months

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Authorities allege a driver was under the influence in July when he ran over a pedestrian outside the Comfort Suites in Bethlehem, pinning the woman under his vehicle and causing extensive injuries.

Bethlehem police charged Curtis L. Green with vehicular aggravated assault in connection to the July 8 crash that severely injured a 31-year-old woman. District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez arraigned the 53-year-old former Easton resident Wednesday afternoon, setting bail at $50,000 with a 10 percent cash option.

Police were dispatched to the Comfort Suites at 120 W. Third St. shortly before 11:30 p.m. the night of the crash for a report of a pedestrian pinned under a vehicle. Authorities said the Ford Expedition had driven over the curb and struck the hotel.

Police said they found the Expedition with its passenger side tires on the curb and dirt and landscaping mulch behind the vehicle, showing that the driver had accelerated, according to court records. Bethlehem firefighters needed to lift the vehicle off the woman using airbags. She was freed about 20 minutes after police were called to the hotel.

Authorities said the victim was taken to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, where she required emergency surgery for a lacerated bladder. She also suffered a shattered pelvis, a dislocated left elbow and ligament damage, a dislocated shoulder, lumbar fractures, a broken upper arm and other injuries, according to records.

She was hospitalized for 11 days before transferring to an in-patient rehab facility where she spent almost three months. Authorities said the woman still uses a wheelchair.

A witness told investigators that the victim was sitting on the curb near the front door of the Comfort Suites smoking a cigarette before the crash. Green’s Expedition was parked alongside the building. Following a performance that night in the hotel, he loaded a set of drums in the car before driving away.

The witness reported Green’s vehicle accelerated quickly while veering to the right. The Expedition jumped the curb, ran over the victim and pinned her beneath, according to police.

Investigators said Green allegedly stopped, backed up and drove forward all while the victim was still under the vehicle. The witness, who had to jump out of the way, ran over to Green to tell him to stop. The Expedition jerked forward one more time as the witness ran for help.

Police allege Green smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and swayed back and forth as he stood. Authorities say a blood test revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent. Most drunk driving offenses begin at 0.08 percent.

Authorities charged Green, who now lives in Bethlehem, with felony counts of aggravated assault and vehicular aggravated assault while driving under the influence. He also faces two misdemeanor counts each of DUI and reckless endangerment along with a summary offense of reckless driving. He was released Wednesday after posting $5,000 cash bail. His next court date is a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Oct. 24.

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