Car crashes after Pa. police end chase

two hurt

August 05, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- With a March pursuit that ended in death still fresh in their minds, Washington Township police officers called off a chase early Monday but soon found the involved car wrecked on Pa. 316 South and saw one of the occupants sprawled on the ground.

Police were pursuing a 1996 Nissan Altima that they believe was traveling 100 mph when first spotted on Pa. 16 in the Wayne Heights area. The car reportedly traveled west into the Borough of Waynesboro, where it clipped a curb and sign on Center Square before ending up on Pa. 316 (Wayne Highway) headed toward the Pennsylvania-Maryland line.

The car was still traveling about 90 mph, but police stopped the chase because of the potential danger for those involved and passers-by, Police Chief Barry Keller said.

Officers "shut the lights and sirens off, continued on that way and came upon it," Keller said.


The car hit a guardrail and mailbox post, then stopped on the center line of the road about a half-mile south of where the chase ended, according to a news release.

Two adult males, whose names were not released by police, were flown by helicopter to York (Pa.) Hospital, where they remained Monday afternoon with injuries that Keller said were not life-threatening.

This is at least the third incident since March in which township police were involved in a pursuit that ended in a crash.

n On March 4, township police were pursuing Robert L. Bennett Jr., 57, when his car crashed at the former Big Apple Market on Pa. 16 in Rouzerville, Pa. Bennett was pronounced dead about a half-hour later.

n On June 11, they were chasing a 2001 Dodge Neon in and around Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., when that car crashed. The male driver involved in that incident then ran from police, who found him on Gin Trail.

Keller wondered aloud on Monday afternoon whether the department -- which received some criticism for continuing to pursue Bennett for several miles -- would now be asked why they stopped pursuing the Altima on Wayne Highway.

Police said they were continuing to investigate the circumstances associated with this week's chase and crash. The news release stated that the car is registered to Laurie A. Nolan of 13138 Mentzer Gap Road, Waynesboro.

Police chases that resulted in crashes

Recent police chases in the Tri-State area that resulted in crashes:

  • Oct. 15, 2007: Kenyetta Q. Edwards, 25, of Fayetteville, Pa., was killed when he and two other motorcyclists allegedly fled from a state trooper on Fifth Avenue in Chambersburg. Edwards' motorcycle collided with a car and he was declared clinically dead the next day, police said.

  • Dec. 21, 2007: Terry Ebersole II, 22, of Greencastle, Pa., was killed when he allegedly was fleeing from Greencastle police and lost control of his car on Williamson Road in Antrim Township. Ebersole was thrown from the car, which rolled on top of him, police said.

  • March 4: Washington Township, Pa., police chase Robert Bennett Jr. of Waynesboro, Pa., on Pa. 16. He crashes in Rouzerville, Pa., and is pronounced dead a half-hour later.

  • June 11: A Dodge Neon leads Washington Township police on a chase through Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., and into Adams County, Pa. The car crashes on Iron Springs Road, then the driver runs from police and is found on Gin Trail.

  • July 9: Frank Alton Biddinger of Damascus, Md., leads police on a chase through Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. The motorcyclist hits the back of a police cruiser and dies from injuries.

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