PSP: Trooper fatally shot I-83 driver who dragged him

Jason Addy, and Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A state police trooper fatally shot a motorist Tuesday who’d dragged the trooper about a third of a mile along Interstate 83 southbound in York County, apparently in an effort to kill him, according to state police.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m., the trooper pulled over the man for a routine traffic stop near the Emigsville exit (Exit 24), said Cpl. Ryan Lawrence, a state police spokesman.

During the traffic stop, the driver took off, causing the trooper to become stuck to the left side of the vehicle, Lawrence said. The trooper was dragged for about three-tenths of a mile, Lawrence said at the scene.

State Police surround a vehicle which crashed into a tractor-trailer after the driver apparently was fleeing police on I-83 southbound, north of the Emigsville Exit Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. The coroner was called to the scene. Bill Kalina photo

The fleeing driver tried to crush the trooper's body against the center cement median, Lawrence said, noting the trooper is lucky to have avoided life-threatening injuries.

The trooper's name has not been released, though Lawrence confirmed he works at the Loganville barracks.

While being dragged, the trooper tried to use "less lethal force" by firing his Taser at the driver, Lawrence said. Fearing for his life, the trooper pulled his service handgun and fired multiple shots at the driver, Lawrence said.

"He's a highly trained trooper, and he did exactly what he needed to do," Lawrence said.

State Police surround a car which crashed into a tractor-trailer after the car's driver was apparently fleeing police on I-83 southbound, north of the Emigsville Exit Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. The coroner was called to the scene. Bill Kalina photo

Despite receiving immediate medical attention, the driver died at the scene, state police said. York County Deputy Coroner Terry Meyers certified the death at the scene, according to a news release from the coroner's office.

The man has not yet been identified by police. The vehicle had Virginia license plates, though it is unclear whether the man was from Virginia, Lawrence said.

An autopsy is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, according to the release from the coroner's office. Additional details will be released upon the completion of the autopsy.

Pennsylvania State Police Harrisburg are in charge of the investigation, according to the release.

What trucker saw: The York Dispatch spoke with the driver whose truck was hit by the fleeing vehicle.

He said that when he looked in his rearview mirror, he saw a black sedan fleeing police.

He said the sedan then crashed into the concrete median, struck his trailer's left rear tire, and careened back into the median, where it stopped.

The crash happened when the fleeing driver tried to squeeze between the median and the truck, which was in the left lane, according to the truck driver.

The truck driver said he didn't hear any gunshots.

After the crash, the truck driver saw a law-enforcement officer run up to the vehicle. He said the cop had not drawn a firearm.

Within a minute, another police officer had arrived on scene, the truck driver said.

The driver of the truck was not seriously injured in the crash.

Police: Man, DUI, fled police, crashed near home

The York County 911 Center dispatched numerous ambulances, police, fire police and other emergency personnel to the area and eventually summoned the coroner's office there.

Dozens of state troopers were on the scene investigating Tuesday afternoon.

Traffic on I-83 was delayed for hours as investigators combed through what Lawrence described as the "extended crime scene." The highway was reopened shortly after 7 p.m.