Canonsburg police car damaged in high-speed chase

March 28, 2014

A Canonsburg police vehicle was damaged early Friday during a high-speed chase that ended when the suspect’s car blew a tire on Morganza Road in North Strabane Township and the driver ran off.

Police spent the day searching for the driver and wanted to interview a “person of interest,” however no arrest has been made and police do not plan to release further information until Monday.

Canonsburg police Sgt. James Spingola said he was patrolling in the borough about 3:20 a.m. when he noticed a car with a headlight out and later discovered the vehicle’s insurance had been suspended.

He tried to pull over the vehicle on Morganza Road at Bobby Vinton Boulevard when the man drove to the Canonsburg on-ramp toward Interstate 79. The driver headed north on the interstate, reaching speeds near 100 mph before he exited at Southpointe, Spingola said.

“I don’t know how he made that curve,” Spingola said of the driver exiting the interstate.

The driver then turned left onto Morganza Road toward Hendersonville, and his car crashed into a guardrail and became stuck on a median. Spingola said he attempted to block in the car with his police sport utility vehicle, but the driver sped away and struck the SUV’s metal “push bar” that protects the bumper.

“I’m fine,” Spingola said. “The car wasn’t hit too hard.”

The suspect’s car then blew a right front tire as it sped down Morganza Road toward North Strabane, leaving tire marks along the street, Spingola said. Several North Strabane police cars blocked the road as the vehicle approached West McMurray Road, and the man abandoned his vehicle, running through a neighborhood.

Police officers attempted to use Tasers on him but were unsuccessful in stopping him, Spingola said.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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