Man high on marijuana charged with murder in fatal car crash

By Anna Norris
By Jillian Marshall

August 7, 2014 Updated Aug 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM EDT

Gibson, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Dylan Robert Schmiel, 23, of Glens Falls is charged with murder after fatally hitting an Endicott man on the shoulder of Interstate 81 in May. Police say the drug-induced crash was reckless.

"When you look at all the charges its talks about reckless, it talks about negligence, it talks about carelessness, it talks about - you know, there's just so many aspects of culpability and pretty much he did all of them," said Pennsylvania State Trooper Matt Prushinski.

Schmiel was extradited from New York to Pennsylvania on Friday. He was arrested by Glens Falls Police on Thursday on a warrant issued in July for the crash.

On May 10, troopers said David Decker, 73, of Endicott pulled his Chevrolet Traverse off the highway onto the right shoulder because he heard a noise and wanted to check his tire.

Decker was walking around to the back of his car and that's when Schmiel swerved his purple Dodge Neon onto the shoulder and hit Decker.

Decker died instantly.

The day of the crash, Schmiel told troopers he smoked marijuana the day before, and that he "blacked out" just before the crash, possibly from post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered from when he was 17.

After a blood test, troopers said they found a significant amount of marijuana in his blood stream.

"We did the investigation we found that in his blood, he admitted that he was smoking marijuana, and in his blood there was a significant amount of marijuana in his, which would have impaired him significantly and probably led to the bad decisions that he did," Prushinski said.

Schmiel was arraigned in front of Judge Jodi Cordner at New Milford District Court Friday afternoon.

He is currently in Susquehanna County Jail without bail.

Judith Decker, 71, of Endicott was a passenger in the Chevrolet Traverse driven by David Decker. She was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Schmiel is charged with:

- Murder, 3rd degree
- Homicide by vehicle
- Homicide by vehicle while DUI
- Aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Passing vehicles on the right shoulder of the interstate
- Traveling at a sustained high rate of speed
- Recklessly endangering another person
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana