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Arrest made in 2010 Adams County police chase that injured officer
After a more than five-year investigation, state police have filed charges against the man who led Eastern Adams Regional Police Officer Rick Phillips in a high-speed chase that caused Phillips' career-ending injury, according to a news release from the office of the Adams County District Attorney.
Lance Lester Hawkes of New Oxford fled from Phillips after midnight on March 11, 2010 when Phillips was trying to pull Hawkes over for a traffic violation, the release states.
The two were traveling eastbound on Route 30, and Phillips had his lights on.
While attempting to cross an intersection during a red light, Phillips crashed into the rear axle of a tractor-trailer at the intersection of State Route 94 and Route 30 at Cross Keys in Berwick Township, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The officer suffered traumatic brain injury, extensive broken facial bones, a broken leg and other serious injuries.
He went through a long recovery at a long-term rehabilitation facility in North Carolina, and received a purple heart medal from the American Police Hall of Fame for injury in the line of duty.
The search: The probe into the case was closed in 2012, when police had exhausted their leads.
But it was opened again the next year.
"In 2013 the defendant's brother came forward with a statement implicating (Hawkes)," Adams County First Assistant District Attorney Brian Sinnett said.
In August of 2013, Hawkes' brother gave a statement regarding a conversation he'd had with his brother in which his brother admitted to having been the one pursued in the chase, the affidavit said.
Hawkes' brother recalled driving in the area of Lynn's Market, which is just outside New Oxford when Phillips tried to pull him over and he fled, according to the affidavit.
Hawkes told his brother he made it through the Cross Keys intersection and, looking in his rearview mirror, saw the officer's car explode, the affidavit said.
Hawkes' brother-in-law provided a similar statement in April 2015, alleging that Hawkes said he fled at a speed over 100 miles per hour and that he saw the officer's car "smashed," the affidavit said.
"(Hawkes) has been here locally since the day of the crash — the question was putting together enough evidence to charge him," Sinnett said.
Hawkes is charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, driving under suspension, reckless driving and other traffic-related offenses, the news release states.
— Reach Julia Scheib at firstname.lastname@example.org.