A former football player has been charged with a serious crime, according to local news sources. Jon Witman, a 44-year-old former fullback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is facing a DUI charge for a Feb. 4 accident. While no one was injured in the crash, Pennsylvania authorities claim he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
The man was expected to stand trial on Oct. 6 for his role in the single-car crash. According to the accident report, the man was driving in Wrightsville when he apparently lost control of his vehicle. The car smashed into a guard rail, where it apparently became stuck.
Police have reported the man allegedly had both morphine and a muscle relaxant in his bloodstream when he was arrested at the scene, but it was not reported how this information came to be known. Witman, a 6-year veteran of the NFL, has been vocal in the past about his struggles with addiction to prescription medication. It remains to be seen whether prosecutors will produce concrete evidence of the man's substance use on the night in question. Any such evidence will be proffered to the court at trial, which will be handled by a judge.
Pennsylvania authorities have the burden of producing compelling evidence of guilt in this case. However, in DUI cases as with all criminal charges, the presumption of innocence protects any accused individual. The fact that Witman has had a public battle with addiction in the past cannot be offered as evidence of wrongdoing in this instance.
Source: Fox News, "Former Steeler set for trial on DUI charge in Pennsylvania", Oct. 5, 2016