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Weatherly chief crashes police car
By TOM RAGAN (Staff Writer)
Published: April 11, 2010
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JAMIE PESOTINE/Staff Photographer A Weatherly police cruiser was heavily damaged after striking a utility pole near Buck Mountain and Stage Coach roads Saturday.
State police at Hazleton are investigating an incident involving a group of all-terrain vehicles that caused damage to a state conservation vehicle and during which a Weatherly police officer slammed a borough police car into a pole Saturday.
Weatherly Borough Manager Harold Pudliner Jr. said the incident began around 5 p.m. Saturday when an officer of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources contacted Weatherly police about seven or eight four-wheel ATVs that caused damage to a DCNR vehicle.
Weatherly Police Chief Brian Markovchick told Pudliner that he was asked to assist the DCNR officer in rounding up the ATV riders who may have been responsible for the damage to one of the conservation department's vehicles.
Pudliner said Markovchick was looking for the ATVs and traveling on South Stage Coach Road near Buck Mountain Road in Lausanne Township. Pudliner said the chief was adjusting his police radio when the Weatherly police car struck a telephone pole, almost snapping it in half.
Markovchick was not injured in the crash, according to Pudliner.
The police car sustained heavy front-end damage. Pudliner estimated that the car was traveling about 35 mph when it slammed into the pole.
The police car was towed away with a tow truck and flatbed trailer. Two Weatherly police officers got in their vehicles and left the scene when a Standard-Speaker reporter and photographer arrived.
Pudliner said the borough has insurance on the police vehicle. He also said the ATV riders responsible for the incident will face serious charges when caught by police.
Reached by telephone Saturday night, a DCNR official confirmed that at least one ATV driver was caught and that charges will be filed. The incident began near the Lehigh Tannery area, according to the official.
He did not say what charges will be filed but did confirm that a DCNR officer was run off the road by the ATVs and a state conservation vehicle was damaged.
The state conservation officer was not injured. The agency is expected to release more information today.
The DCNR officer said state police at Hazleton were investigating the incidents. Troopers did not release any information about the Weatherly police car crash or the incident involving the ATVs and the DCNR vehicle.
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