• Police: Teen driver accused of DUI in crash that injured family of 5

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    LAWRENCE COUNTY, Pa. - Three children, including a 6-month-old, were hurt when a teenage driver accused of driving under the influence slammed into a minivan in Lawrence County Tuesday night.

    State police said 19-year-old Travis Panezich ran a stop sign in North Beaver Township, causing the crash.

    Investigators said Panezich slammed into the family’s minivan, causing the vehicle to spin out and roll over, ending up in the front yard of a home.

    The criminal complaint said Panezich told detectives that he was looking at his radio and didn’t see the stop sign.

    Chad and Courtney Hilliard, and their three children ages 5, 3 and 6 months were all hurt in the crash. The entire family was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated.

    Chad Hilliard and his three children are being treated for moderate to severe injuries, the police report stated. Courtney Hilliard suffered minor injuries from the crash. None of the injuries are expected to be life-threatening.

    “I just got word that the mom and the baby have been discharged, but chose to stay at the hospital to be with the rest of the family,” family friend Diana Ambrose said.

    Ambrose told Channel 11’s Amy Marcinkiewicz that the family was on its way to get pizza and ice cream at the time of the crash.

    Police said Panezich failed a field sobriety test and alcoholic beverages were found in his car. According to the criminal complaint, he admitted to smoking marijuana.

    He was also taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for a minor injury and chemical testing.

    Panezich faces a number of charges, including aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence. He’s currently being held in the Lawrence County Jail. 

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