Updated: 5:22 p.m. Monday, July 8, 2013 | Posted: 4:54 p.m. Monday, July 8, 2013

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Testimony: Teen huffed cleaning solution prior to fatal crash

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Testimony: Teen huffed cleaning solution prior to fatal crash photo
Alex Powers, 19, of Camden, appeared for a preliminary hearing Monday in Middletown Municipal Court. Powers is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide after the car he was driving on Towne Blvd. in Middletown, crashed into Camden couple Glenn Pugh, 69, and his wife Elaine Pugh, 64, killing them both.
Testimony: Teen huffed cleaning solution prior to fatal crash photo
Alex Powers, 19, of Camden, appeared for a preliminary hearing Monday in Middletown Municipal Court. Powers is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide after the car he was driving on Towne Blvd. in Middletown, crashed into Camden couple Glenn Pugh, 69, and his wife Elaine Pugh, 64, killing them both.

By Lauren Pack

Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN —

A 19-year-old Camden man huffed a can of cleaning solution twice before passing out behind the wheel on June 28 then causing a double fatal crash at a Middletown intersection, according to prosecutors.

Alex Powers was shackled and handcuffed in Middletown Municipal Court Monday during a preliminary hearing on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide for allegedly causing the death of Glenn Pugh, 69, and his wife Elaine Pugh, 64, also of Camden.

A woman believed to be Powers’ mother cried during the 20-minute hearing, but the tall, thin teen showed no emotion. The woman and others left the courtroom without comment.

Middletown Detective Rich Bush said he interviewed Powers, as well as Seth Morgan, 18, also of Camden, three hours after the crash that occurred at the intersection of Towne Boulevard and Pendleton Circle.

“He (Powers) said he guessed he fell asleep at the wheel,” Bush said during testimony.

During an interview with Morgan, he indicated they had purchased two cans of Endust at Target in Middletown and took two “hits” while in the parking lot. A 16-year-old girl in the back seat of the vehicles did not partake in the huffing, he said.

Powers said he took a “deep hit” (a slang term that refers to huffing) again while driving the car and remembers nothing of the crash, Bush said.

“Mr. Morgan said he tried to get Mr. Powers to wake up. He was accelerating the vehicle at a high rate of speed,” Bush said during testimony.

Morgan then grabbed the steering wheel and managed to miss one crash before the Honda T-boned the Pughs’ car. Bush said.

Powers’ attorney Sam Borst argued that Morgan was actually the person with his hands on the wheel when the fatal crash occurred.

“It appears another person was driving the vehicle for a city block while he (Powers) was asleep,” Borst said.

Middletown Prosecutor Ashley Bretland argued Powers knowingly huffed the substance while in the car and “was in control of the speed of the vehicle at the time of the accident.”

Powers is also charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence for the crash near Towne Mall.

He is additionally charged with fleeing the scene of an accident and failure to control for an accident at Breiel Boulevard and Lefferson Road just a couple hours before the fatal crash.

Judge Mark W. Wall found sufficient evidence to bind the case over to a Warren County grand jury of consideration. Powers remains housed in the Middletown City Jail in lieu of $220,000 bond.

 
 

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