Man accused of assault by vehicle while DUI in connection with crash

From staff reports

A Clarion man is facing charges that include aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI in connection with a 2022 crash in Highland Township in which the man and one of his passengers were flown to Pittsburgh hospitals.

The charges were filed earlier this month against Skylar Andrew Rhoades, 21. He was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, three misdemeanor DUI counts and several summary driving violations.

The one-vehicle crash occurred at about 1:30 a.m. June 18, 2022, on Miola Road near Maxwell Road.

Clarion state police said the Chevy Monte Carlo driven by Rhoades was headed south on Miola Road and Rhoades wasn’t able to negotiate a curve in the roadway.

The vehicle crossed the double yellow line and proceeded into the oncoming lane of travel, then exited the left side of the roadway and struck a utility pole, according to police.

The vehicle then struck a brick building on Miola Road and traveled through the wall of the building before coming to rest, police said.

Police did not identify the building, but reports at the time indicated the structure was occupied by a business.

Rhoades was flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of his injuries, and back seat passenger Cole A. Stutzman, 19, of Clarion, was flown to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh for treatment, according to police.

Tyler E. Schmader, 20, of Clarion, a passenger in the front seat, was transported to Clarion Hospital for treatment, police said.

The state police crash reconstruction unit and forensic services unit were utilized at the scene, police said.

A preliminary arraignment for Rhoades has been scheduled March 18, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled April 2.