State police arrest Cecil man accused of fleeing on I-79

August 15, 2017
Daniel Francis Morgan

A Cecil Township man was arrested Monday afternoon by state police after he allegedly fled from a trooper who tried to stop him on Interstate 79 southbound near the Meadow Lands exit in South Strabane Township.

Daniel Francis Morgan, 44, of 1731 Lexington Drive, Lawrence, is charged with causing or risking a catastrophe, fleeing or attempting to elude police, improperly passing other vehicles, careless driving, speeding and other traffic and equipment violations.

A state police communications operator contacted Trooper Scott Dowlin about 3:40 p.m. and alerted him to watch for a motorcyclist who reportedly was weaving in and out of traffic, swerving back and forth between two tractor-trailers and then slamming on the brakes while in front of the rigs.

Dowlin spotted a Harley-Davidson, and the driver of one of the trucks blew his horn and pointed to the motorcycle. Dowlin activated his emergency lights and pulled onto the highway. The trooper said he followed the motorcycle as it continued to weave in and out of traffic at speeds of about 90 mph. Police said Morgan continued west on Interstate 70 before getting off at the Jefferson Avenue exit, where he improperly passed a vehicle on the right before turning onto East Wylie Avenue.

Morgan then allegedly fled down Allison Avenue before he was stopped for construction, where the trooper was able to get the license plate number. The Cecil man then allegedly took off again at a high speed and eventually turned onto Henderson Avenue (Route 18), passing at least 10 vehicles on the double yellow line. Police said he turned onto Oak Grove Road, where the trooper lost sight of him.

Dowlin contacted Trooper Christopher Storm, who canvassed the Washington Estates trailer park and learned the motorcycle had gone up Moon Road. The troopers continued to search and found several people and motorcycles at a home on Castle Road.

Morgan reportedly claimed he had been at the residence for some time, but police said Storm spotted a tire track through the yard and found Morgan’s motorcycle at the back of the house. He was then taken into custody.

Morgan was arraigned before District Judge Joshua Kanalis and placed in Washington County jail on $75,000 bond. He is scheduled for a Sept. 12 preliminary hearing before District Judge Jay Weller.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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