Denny Ruch of D&D Fuel Delivery rolled his truck in Mahoning Township back in January - leaking thousands of gallons of heating oil onto the road and into a nearby creek.
Ruch was charged with being under the influence of marijuana. But those charges are now being dropped.
The statute in this case changed a few years ago requiring probable cause of intoxication. Before the change, police were able to draw a blood sample of any commercial vehicle operator if they were in any accident. Now, law enforcement must be able to witness clear signs of impairment which Mr. Ruch did not display.
"He absolutely had no basis to suspect Mr. Ruch of being under the influence of any drug, any alcohol at the time." said attorney Matthew Rapa.
Rapa said Mahoning Township Police had no right to test the blood of Denny Ruch the morning he rolled his truck on Route 209 near the Packerton dip, spilling 2,500 gallons of heating oil onto the road. District attorney Michael Greek said the officer was going off of an old statute where any commercial vehicle operator can be tested after an accident. Greek said he dropped the charges because it would never stand in trial
"[Police] just felt that he had to take the blood." Greek said, "The statute changed now requiring probable cause which didn't exist in this case. So the blood would not come in at the time of trial."
Attorney Rapa also said Ruch never signed his name on any forms reminding him of his rights to deny a test. He just complied with law enforcement - doing what he was told.
"There's forms that he should have submitted to Mr. Ruch that advised him he has a right to refuse that." Rapa said, "What the consequences of that would be."
Greek said the blood samples suggest Mr. Ruch probably used marijuana a couple days, possibly a few weeks before the rollover crash happened where no one was injured.
"The THC in the blood reading wasn't high enough that would give an indication that he had smoked marijuana immediately prior operating the vehicle or that he was under the influence of THC at the time he was driving." Greek said.
The summary offenses against Mr. Ruch, such as reckless and careless driving, have also been dropped because the road conditions were awful. Attorney Rapa said a neighbor witnessed multiple passenger vehicles slide through the intersection that same morning.