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Police: Man tossed heroin out of car after hitting school bus in Penn Township

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 11:18 a.m.
Tribune-Review
Andrew Slywczuk is led into the Harrison City office of Magisterial District Judge Helen Kistler on Feb. 27, 2013. Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review

A military veteran had just purchased a brick of heroin in Pitcairn with plans to distribute it in Westmoreland County when he crashed his car into a school bus in Penn Township Wednesday morning, police said.

Andrew M. Slywczuk, 28, of 14312 Robert Drive, North Huntingdon, allegedly was driving under the influence of a controlled substance when the accident occurred on Pleasant Valley Road. After the crash, he tossed 50 stamp bags of heroin over a hillside, police said.

Slywczuk told police he purchased the heroin in Pitcairn for $300 and had used some of it just before the crash.

“The school bus driver did some maneuvering to avoid a head-on collision,” said township police Chief John Otto.

The bus driver and a boy on the bus were not injured, police said.

Slywczuk told Kistler that he was released from active duty with the military less than a year ago. He told the judge he has a drug problem and is in treatment. He is attending Westmoreland County Community College.

According to an affidavit, the small bus was traveling south on Pleasant Valley Road near Snyder Road when the driver encountered a red Hyundai sedan traveling north in the opposite lane.

Slywczuk sustained superficial facial wounds, police said. Medics at the scene told police Slywczuk showed signs of being under the influence of drugs.

“The actor appeared to be confused with droopy eyelids, glassy eyes and had delayed reactions,” Officer Sean Foor wrote in an affidavit.

In addition to the stamp bags — each is one dose of heroin — and drug paraphernalia that were found over the hillside, police said, officers found empty stamp bags in the vehicle and in Slywczuk's wallet.

The stamp bags were black marked with gold hearts.

Slywczuk was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before District Judge Helen Kistler. He is charged with possession with intent to deliver, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, reckless driving and two counts of driving under the influence.

He is in the Westmoreland County Prison on $10,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled on March 8.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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