A Shrewsbury Township man is facing a number of felony charges, including attempted homicide, after allegedly crashing one vehicle, stealing another and fleeing from police early Thursday morning in southern York County, police said.
At one point Christian Michael Smithson accelerated and drove directly at a state trooper standing along the berm of a road, charging documents allege.
Trooper Jonathan Burnham was forced to take cover behind a utility pole to avoid being struck, according to Smithson's arrest affidavit.
Burnham escaped injury, but it was a close call, according to Trooper Adam Reed, a state police spokesman.
Smithson, 21, of 11868 Bohr Court, remains in York County Prison on $100,000 bail.
He's charged with attempted homicide, three counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, theft, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle, driving with a suspended license and failing to drive in his own lane.
3 hurt in crash: The incident started at 12:18 a.m. Thursday when Smithson crashed a vehicle he was driving in the 4100 block of Manchester Street in Shrewsbury Township, police said.
He fled the scene, leaving behind three injured passengers -- one of whom was severely hurt, Reed said. Those passengers gave police Smithson's name, he said.
A medical helicopter was called for the severely hurt passenger, according to 911 radio transmissions, which stated that Smithson had five passengers, including a baby. The baby was not badly hurt, police said.
GMC stolen: Just before 2 a.m., Codorus Township resident Joseph Mitchell of Rockville Road reported his gold GMC Sierra had been stolen from his home, which is not far from where Smithson crashed, according to the affidavit.
The York County 911 Center alerted police to be on the lookout for the GMC.
At 2:08 a.m., off-duty Sgt. Darryl Smuck of Southern Regional Police spotted the GMC heading west on Clearview Drive toward Glen Rock and told state police, the affidavit states. Smuck followed the vehicle at a safe distance because he was off duty and not in a police vehicle, police said.
Burnham and Trooper Matthew Hamilton tried to head off Smithson by setting up "spike strips" on the road at the intersection of Park and West Forrest avenues, the affidavit states. Spike strips, also called stop sticks or tire shredders, are strips with barbs or spikes pointed upward; they are laid across a road to puncture vehicle tires.
'Accelerated': Smithson was eastbound and approaching the corner in the stolen GMC as Burnham was laying spike strips across the road, police said.
Smithson "accelerated and swerved into the westbound lane traveling directly at" Burnham, the affidavit states.
Burnham retreated behind a utility pole to avoid being struck, police allege.
The spike strips flattened the GMC's tires and police were able to stop it on Forrest Avenue at Interstate 83, then arrested Smithson, the affidavit states.
Close call: Burnham told fellow troopers the GMC "came within inches of killing him," according to the affidavit:
"He advised that there was no doubt that Smithson was aiming for him because the truck wasn't traveling that fast until (Smithson) saw (the troopers)," the affidavit states.
Smuck also witnessed the incident and told investigators the truck "blatantly" swerved directly toward Burnham, according to police.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at email@example.com.