A Canadian truck driver must spend nearly three years in prison for leading police on an alcohol-fueled, high-speed chase in a stolen oil tanker that ended when he crashed in West Manchester Township.
Marc C.J. Chartier, 41, of Manitoba, was sentenced Monday in York County Court to a minimum of 2-2/3 years in state prison to maximum of about 5-1/3 years, according to court records.
"He put a lot of people in danger," senior deputy prosecutor Jared Mellott said. "It was one big, long chaotic mess."
Big bill: Chartier must pay a combined $55,540 in restitution to the company that owned the damaged rig and its insurance carrier, plus $2,793 in restitution to the state Department of Transportation for damaging a guard rail along Route 30, according to the prosecutor.
Also as part of his sentence, Chartier was fined more than $2,000, Mellott confirmed.
The trucker was hauling a load through Central Pennsylvania and was staying overnight at a local hotel.
In the early-morning hours of Nov. 9, 2012, Chartier was walking back to his hotel room from a local bar when he spotted the Edris Oil truck parked and running in the 1200 block of Columbia Avenue in North York.
Motive unknown: For some reason, Chartier hopped in the truck and took off, Northern York County Regional Police have said.
Mellott said he still has no idea why Chartier stole the tanker.
The driver who'd left the Edris Oil truck idling called police.
About 1:30 a.m., Northern Regional officers spotted the stolen tanker going westbound on East Seventh Avenue toward North George Street, but Chartier ignored their attempts to stop him by crossing into the oncoming lane and nearly hitting two police cruisers, police said.
Ran red lights: Police chased the tanker onto Route 30 westbound, where Chartier ran five red lights, using the truck's air horn as he went through the intersections, police said.
The chase reached speeds of 80 mph, according to Mellott, who said Chartier's blood-alcohol level at the time was 0.216 percent. In Pennsylvania, an adult is driving drunk at 0.08 percent.
Chartier lost control of the rig and crashed along Route 30 near the Route 462 ramp, police said.
"Thankfully, the only person hurt was him," Mellott said.
Mixed verdict: At trial last month, a jury convicted Chartier of fleeing and eluding police, theft, reckless endangerment, DUI, driving at an unsafe speed, reckless driving and five counts of running stop signals. Jurors acquitted him of two counts of aggravated assault.
Also as part of his sentence, Chartier must take DUI classes, undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and comply with all recommended treatment, court records state.
Public defender Jim Rader said the sentence would have been worse for Chartier if he'd been convicted of the assault charges.
Longer-term guest: "I'm just glad no one was physically injured except for some minor injuries to Chartier," Rader said. "I was hoping for a county (prison) sentence, as recommended by the Adult Probation Department, so he could go back to Canada sooner rather than later, but the court decided he should be a guest of our commonwealth for a little longer."
Mellott said he was pleased Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder "recognized the severity" of Chartier's actions and sentenced him accordingly.
-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.