New Castle News


October 2, 2012

Man charged in crash that injured girlfriend

NEW CASTLE — A Wampum man is facing multiple charges following an accident that severely injured his girlfriend.

State police arrested Joshua Michael Lagala, 20, of 198 Short St. yesterday as a result of the Aug. 25 crash.

Ashley Skiles, 19, of Beaver Falls was thrown from the car Lagala had been driving around 10:30 p.m. She suffered severe injuries, including multiple broken bones in her torso. The car was owned by her mother, according to court records.

Police said Lagala was speeding on Route 18 in North Beaver Township and went off the south berm, then swerved back onto the road and spun counter-clockwise into the northbound lane, ejecting Skiles, who was the front-seat passenger. She landed in the middle of Route 18.

The car then went onto the north berm and hit a guard rail several times and stopped in the northbound lane.

Police said they found bloodstains and locks of Skiles’ hair on the travel lanes of Route 18 and she was not wearing shoes. Her flip-flops were found on the passenger’s side under the floor mat.

Police talked to a semiconscious Skiles at the scene and she said Lagala had been driving, but she could not answer any more questions because of her injuries.

She was flown to the trauma unit of St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown. Police said she suffered several breaks to her pelvis, a broken femur, at least four broken ribs, a broken shoulder, several fractured vertebrae, severe injuries to her hands and feet and severe abrasions to her face. She was expected to undergo several operations and then be transferred to a nursing facility in Beaver County for rehabilitation.

Troopers said Lagala smelled of alcohol and could not tell them his name or how the accident occurred. He told police Skiles is his girlfriend, and he had called her name after the crash but she did not answer. He said he didn’t see her in the car, then he saw her lying on the road.

He said he pulled her off the road so another car did not come along and hit her.

Lagala told police the two had been drinking at a party and were arguing in the car over who was more intoxicated and who should be driving. He told police neither he nor Skiles was wearing a seat belt.

Police said he submitted to a field sobriety test and a blood alcohol test, and the results showed his blood alcohol level to be 0.134 percent.

Lagala is charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, two counts of driving under the influence, recklessly endangering another person, driving on the wrong side of the road, disregarding traffic lanes, driving at an unsafe speed, careless driving, minor prohibited from driving with any alcohol in system, reckless driving, violation of restriction on alcoholic beverages, failure to use restraint systems, and purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt brewed beverages by a minor.

He was arraigned by District Judge Jennifer L. Nicholson, who lodged him in the Lawrence County jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Community Easter morning service

    There’s a reason why most holidays last only 24 hours. It’s because when you’re finished celebrating, there’s still work to be done. The Rev. David Young reminded everyone who attended Sunday’s community Easter morning service at Lawrence Village Plaza of that.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • money.jpg Retirements, attrition to save district money

    A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget. The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fletch1.jpg No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter

    It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Firefighters respond to gas leak

    New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ATV.jpg City residents register complaints about ATVs

    Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action on quakes

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season

    Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season. Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout.

    April 14, 2014 9 Photos

  • S_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next

    Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character.  Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

House Ads

When will you start mowing your grass?

Been there, done that
Probably this week
Not until May
You mean, when will I HIRE someone to mow my grass?
     View Results