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Police: Dover man shot himself after chase from York to Lancaster

Staff report
  • Police say a 52-year-old Dover man shot himself in the head after a two-county chase on Wednesday.
  • The man shot himself in the head in Columbia after being chased by a Hellam Township officer, police said.

A Dover man is in the hospital after shooting himself in the head Wednesday evening during a police pursuit that began in York County and ended in Lancaster County, according to police.

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Hellam Township Police Chief Doug Pollock said the 52-year-old is on life support at Lancaster General Hospital.

Hit-and-run: The pursuit stemmed from an alleged hit-and-run that occurred in Springettsbury Township, according to Springettsbury Police Sgt. Brian Wilbur.

Wilbur said officers from his department were dispatched just before 5:50 p.m. to the intersection of Edgewood Road and Eastern Boulevard.

The car remaining on scene after the alleged hit-and-run needed to be towed, but no injuries were reported, he said.

Springettsbury Police issued an alert for the other vehicle involved, and a Hellam Township Police officer saw a vehicle matching the description on Route 30 and pursued it into Lancaster County, according to Wilbur.

Chase: Pollock said the vehicle the man was driving, a gray Saturn Ion, was spotted by a Hellam Township officer just before the bridge in Wrightsville. The officer began to follow the driver, who was going with the flow of traffic and not driving erratically, he said.

The car then turned right onto the Columbia exit, then another right at the North Third Street light before  turning left onto Route 441.

"He took a left there, slowed down to around 30 mph and shot himself in the head,” Pollock said.

Pollock said the driver shot himself with a handgun and then drifted into a small embankment before coming to a stop. The man was taken to Lancaster General by ambulance and is on life support, Pollock said.

“He was breathing when he left the scene," Pollock said.

The chief estimated that the whole incident between the hit-and-run and the man shooting himself took about 10 minutes. He said the highest speed the officer went during the chase was 49 mph.

The investigation is ongoing, but Pollock said there is potential the incident could have been DUI-related. He said three beer cans were found in the man's car.

Officers were at the scene for about an hour and a half, he said.

— Staff reporter Christopher Dornblaser contributed to this report.