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Driver charged today in fatal crash

February 20, 2013 News Extra

An unlicensed driver accused of causing a fatal head-on collision while driving home from a methadone clinic was charged today with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

A drug recognition specialist has asserted that 25-year-old Justin Enslen of 106 Rosewood Lane was impaired by a “narcotic analgesic” at the time of the Monday morning crash.

Enslen, driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck on Route 68, reportedly swerved into the lane of opposing traffic in front of the Connoquenessing Elementary School. The truck crashed head-on with a Nissan Frontier driven by Mark Bishop, 52, of Oakland Township.

Bishop died in the crash. His sister, Holly Merkner, 41, of Lyndora, a passenger in the Frontier, was taken by ambulance to Butler Memorial Hospital.

Enslen was taken to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh where he reportedly told an investigator he’d been driving home from a regular visit to a methadone clinic in Cranberry Township. Methadone is a prescription narcotic mostly known as a treatment for heroin addiction.

In addition to the homicide charge, Enslen is charged with accidents involving death while not properly licensed, two counts of driving under the influence of a controlled substance, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, driving on the wrong side of the road, careless driving, reckless driving and a seat belt violation.