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Police: High on Heroin, Man Crashes Into Tree

Kyle P. Swiatlowski suffered a punctured lung and broken femur in the collision on Lincoln Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

Ridgewood police claim a Westwood man was high on heroin when he failed to navigate a turn and violently slammed into a tree on Lincoln Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

At around 2:30 p.m., emergency responders pulled Kyle P. Swiatlowski, 24, from an Acura sedan crushed beneath an oak tree on the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue. Swiatlowski was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, where he was undergoing surgery Wednesday night for a punctured lung and a broken femur.

As emergency workers tended to Swiatlowski, Ptl. John Chuck observed "several" bags of heroin in the front seat along with drug paraphernalia and seven hypodermic needles, Sgt. Peter Bolten said.

Police said they believe Swiatlowski shot up heroin just minutes before he crashed into the tree. He was traveling at a high rate of speed, Bolten said.

Swiatlowski was charged with DUI, possession of heroin, possession of hypodermic needles, possession of drug paraphernalia and numerous traffic offenses.

Though serious, his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

VKC December 20, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Thank goodness all he hit was a tree.
Linda Fass December 20, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Why are there so many people driving through our area high on or in possession of heroin? It is very scary!
John Hahn December 20, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Just curious: When there is a so-called accident such as this requiring emergency services like, fire, police, and EMS is the perpetrator of this accident billed for these services. The person chose to use illegal drugs and then drive. Besides the criminal penalties he faces, should he not also reimburse the community for their costs? There are accidents and then there is STUPID. Using heroin and then operating a car comes under stupid.
SR res December 20, 2012 at 02:46 AM
What an ass. Stay home if you want to kill yourself. 2:30 is when the school busses are driving our children home. Sorry, don't want to hear that it's a disease right now.
momofthree December 20, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Why was he taken to St Joseph's and not Valley Hospital if the accident happened in Ridgewood?
James Kleimann December 20, 2012 at 03:48 AM
St. Joe's and HUMC are established as Level II trauma centers. The really serious accidents usually go to either one of those hospitals since they're equipped to handle high risk traumas. Valley is not a Trauma I or II. Here's a bit more information: http://www.state.nj.us/health/ems/trama_centers.shtml
momofthree December 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Thanks for that information James!
Dennis Martinez December 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM
If you Google his name a prior heroin arrest in 2011 comes up. The person obviously has a bad habit and hasn't learned his lesson. Driving under the influence of heroin at 2:30 pm no less could have resulted in serious personal injuries to others. It's time this turkey spends a few years in jail and thinks about his behavior
Alfreddie December 20, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Why is a Westwood man traveling through Ridgewood with heroin? Is this a route to drug trafficking / delivery? Where was he going with the extra bags of heroin and are he and others dealing the heroin along the route on the way home? Where there is smoke, is this a clue to a bigger issue or potential issue?
Gary Rabinowitz December 20, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Good question Marla. Pace James Kleimann, I betcha the EMS did a quickie "wallet biopsy" (when a paramedic goes through ones wallet while they are in an ambulance. Usually the paramedic will take just insurance information.The paramedic knew which hospital to bring me to by a wallet biopsy on me.......www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wallet%20biopsy). At least that's my guess. Cheers GXR
Andrew J December 20, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I agree with SR. I have no tolerance for the "disease" talk. Regular, hardworking people have a right to be safe too.
Concerned Ridgewood Dad December 20, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Just an FYI to those of you who think Heroin is a problem in other towns but not Ridgewood...According to Ridgewood Police Detectives I've spoken with in the past, heroin happens to be one of the more popular drugs of choice in the high school. They cite a confluence of factors for this: Proximity to distribution, money and parents who aren't often around or turn a blind eye to the activities of their children. Sorry to shatter the view that Ridgewood is Mayberry - its not.
fordhammsw December 20, 2012 at 03:57 PM
It has to do with proximity to Paterson. Lincoln Avenue is a direct route there and back.
Mikka H December 20, 2012 at 09:56 PM
who was the idiot driving the Ridgewood ambulance through Glen Rock???? this guy was not only endangering himself but everyone around him..... he was driving so fast over the railroad tracks he was almost airborne... and for what? a doped up asshole who just left paterson and ended up going right back.... these guys driving the rigs are going to cause a serious accident if this continues.....
Wisdom December 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Using heroin alone is stupid.
RRV December 22, 2012 at 06:56 PM
I worked on an ambulance for 8 years, as long as the patient was stable, the ambulance should be driving normal with no lights or sirens.

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