A Lower Saucon Township man was too high on marijuana to drive when he caused a two-car accident along Shimersville Road that left a woman critically injured, Bethlehem police say.
Eric P. Mason, 27, of 1451 Clauser Drive, was also tailgating and tried to pass the sport utility vehicle he collided with by driving through an intersection’s right-turn-only lane, according to eyewitnesses cited in an arrest affidavit.
On Monday, Mason was charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, aggravated assault by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI and four summary traffic violations for allegedly causing the Sept. 4 wreck at Shimersville Road and Applebutter Road.
He is free on 10 percent of $15,000 cash bail, following his arraignment before District Judge Patricia Romig-Passaro.
The other driver was ejected from her 1999 Ford Explorer when it rolled over after the collision, police said. She suffered a fractured skull, traumatic brain injuries and several broken bones and lacerations.
She only remembers that she had left work and was on her way home on the morning of the crash, police said.
Mason told police that the other motorist was driving erratically as they traveled northbound on Shimersville Road. That is what prompted his decision to try to pass the SUV on the right in his 2004 silver Volkswagen GTI, according to the arrest affidavit.
According to Mason, the other driver was swerving and at one point crossed the double-yellow line into the path of oncoming traffic, police said.
Mason said that as he passed the Ford, it moved back to the right without using a turn signal, according to the affidavit. He said he slammed on his brakes and turned to the right, which caused him to hit the curb, as the Ford struck the front of his car’s driver side and then rolled over.
However, the motorist driving behind Mason said he was tailgating the SUV and appeared to be in a hurry as he swerved back and forth behind the Ford before he swerved to the right, accelerated and tried to pass.
The motorist two cars back said he saw Mason’s car get into the right-turn only lane, as if he was going to turn onto Applebutter Road, but then traveled through the intersection before the collision.