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Schuylkill County News

Pottsville Man Leads Police on High-Speed Chase (And That’s Only Part of the Story)

pottsville man route 61 chase crash

pottsville man route 61 chase crash

A Pottsville man is facing a host of charges after police finally were able to catch up to him following a high-speed chase on Saturday on Route 61.

According to State Police in Hamburg, it all started at about 4 p.m. That’s when they started receiving calls about a black Mercedes Benz moving wildly in the northbound lanes of Route 61 in Perry Township, Berks County.

Pottsville Man Faces Long List of Charges Following High-Speed Chase on Saturday

Police located the vehicle near Jetson Drive in Tilden Township a short time later. They tried pulling the vehicle over to the side of the road but failed.  The driver inside, 46-year-old Jason S. Smith, of Pottsville, refused to pull over.

In Port Clinton, police say they tried an “induced stop” but Smith was able to maneuver by it. As he did, Smith hit the front end of one of the police vehicles giving chase.

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Smith kept speeding up Route 61 where he soon encountered more trouble. In West Brunswick Township, near the highway’s intersection with Summer Valley Rd., a vehicle driven by William Fitch, 67, of Berwick, was also headed in the same direction.

Police say Fitch was in the passing lane trying to get around a “commercial vehicle” when Smith sped up behind him. Smith then rear-ended Fitch.

After impact, both vehicles drove into the driving lane of the highway. Fitch kept going toward the shoulder of Route 61 but Smith had other ideas. Instead of stopping to see if Fitch and his passenger, 58-year-old Lora Fitch, also of Berwick, were OK, he sped off.

Fitch dialed 9-1-1 and reported the crash. They eventually drove away from the scene and returned home to Berwick. But when they got back, Lora Fitch complained of neck pain and sought treatment at a local hospital.

Meanwhile, Smith kept going. Troopers tried two other times to stop him in his tracks, once using a Precision Immobilization Technique and also deploying a stop stick.

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Police say the pursuit reached “extremely high speeds” and they lost visual contact with Smith’s vehicle.

However, it was later spotted in the parking lot at Crossroads Inn along Adamsdale Rd. Police found Smith with the vehicle and they took him into custody.

Back at the Hamburg barracks, police learned that Smith was wanted for another vehicular incident in Wyomissing. There, he allegedly hit a woman with his vehicle and also attempted to hit several members of Wyomissing PD.


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