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Western Pa. Operation Nighthawk traffic patrol yields 38 arrests

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By Trib Total Media
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, 10:48 p.m.

The Operation Nighthawk traffic enforcement program held throughout Westmoreland and portions of Allegheny County last weekend resulted in 38 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and 19 citations for drivers operating on suspended licenses, state police said.

More than 50 law enforcement officers from local departments in Western Pennsylvania, along with Troop A in Greensburg, Troop B in Uniontown, Troop C in Punxsutawney Troop E in Erie and the state police turnpike detail took part in specialized DUI training and education programs at Westmoreland County Community College.

The officers then took part in traffic patrols from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Saturday morning and again Saturday through Sunday morning, said state police Cpl. David Andrascik.

The program included a presentation on Saturday by family members of Trooper Kenton Iwaniec, who was killed by a drunken driver on March 27, 2008.

Iwaniec, a 2002 graduate of Ligonier Valley High School, was two miles from his Avondale station on his drive home from work when an impaired driver crossed the center line, hit the driver's side of a pickup truck, then hit the trooper's vehicle head-on. Iwaniec, 24, died two hours later in a Delaware hospital.

Andrascik said the traffic enforcement detail yielded 586 vehicle stops, 22 citations for not wearing seat belts, four speeding citations, two underage drinking arrests, 188 traffic citations, 13 criminal arrests and 285 traffic warnings.

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