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Boy, girl flown from scene of U.S. 30 accident

Children were in the backseat of a car being chased by police

April 02, 2010|By DAN DEARTH
  • A Pennsylvania State Trooper investigates the scene of a single vehicle crash Friday after a pursuit on U.S. 30 east of Chambersburg, Pa.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. --Two children who were riding in a car that was being chased by police Friday were flown to hospitals for treatment after the driver crashed into a metal sign pole in front of a restaurant on Lincoln Way East near Chambersburg, Pa., according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Trooper Ed Asbury said a girl was flown by helicopter to Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and a boy was flown to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The driver was taken to York (Pa.) Hospital, police said.

The names of the children and the extent of their injuries were unavailable Friday. The Herald-Mail is withholding the driver's name because no charges were filed by presstime Friday.

"I noticed there were no car seats in the vehicle," Asbury said. "We're assuming at this point (the children) were 10 to 12 years of age."

The children were in the backseat of the car that was being chased by police, according to Asbury.

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The chase began just west of Cashtown, Pa., in Adams County when the driver of a white Mercury Cougar fled during a traffic stop, Asbury said. The driver led state police west into Franklin County, where he ran into a pole at about 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Benny's Italian Restaurant at the corner of Lincoln Way East and Briar Lane.

The car involved in the crash was heavily damaged in the rear, and the roof was collapsed. Car parts, including large springs, were scattered in the restaurant's parking lot. The right rear tire was lying in front of the Cougar. Emergency crews spread an absorbent substance on the ground to soak up vehicle fluids.

Asbury said he didn't know how fast the driver was going during the chase.

Troopers on the scene used fire extinguishers to "suppress the fire enough to rescue the individuals inside," Asbury said. Some of the troopers were taken to a hospital after they inhaled some of the contents of the extinguishers, Asbury said.

"I commend them for their actions," Asbury said. "That is what they are sworn to do."

Eric Weiss of Red Lion, Pa., said he was sitting in the parking lot of the restaurant when he heard a "thump."

Weiss said he watched as troopers put out flames and pulled the driver and children from the vehicle.

"They took the driver into custody and threw him on the ground," Weiss said.

Chris Wells, 26, of Pond Bank, Pa., said he was driving west on Lincoln Way East when the driver "blew past me like I was standing still."

"I would say they were at least doing 90 or 100 miles per hour," he said.

Wells said he pulled over to the side of the road when he saw a police vehicle behind him with its lights on.

The Fayetteville (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Co. also responded to the scene.

State police in Adams and Franklin counties were handling the investigation.

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