UPDATE: Police Kill Driver of Semi After Wild Chase and Standoff
UPDATE: We are learning more about the police chase and standoff in Pennsylvania on Monday night involving a semi-truck.
New reporting from Fox56 indicates the man who lost his life in the chase and then subsequent standoff was wanted for violating homicide probation.
His identity has not yet been released but is described as a 48-year-old white male from Whiteland, IN.
U.S. Marshals determined the man was a passenger in a tractor-trailer operating along I-81 North near Exit 124 in Schuylkill County on Monday afternoon.
Authorities then initiated a stop of the vehicle and the driver of the rig “exited” according to investigators.
The passenger, who we now know was the man in the standoff, refused to get out of the truck and then drove off in just the tractor leaving the trailer.
Police say numerous attempts to disable the rig were unsuccessful.
The chase eventually ended in Hazleton behind the town’s ice rink.
The man reportedly barricaded himself in the cab.
Initially, a member of the Hazleton Fire Department told FOX56 that the man took his own life.
However, police now say the man opened fire and authorities returned fire killing him.
No police offers were reportedly injured.
TransportationNation.com will continue to monitor the investigation.
Hazleton, PA – A wild police chase and standoff in Pennsylvania ended Monday night in the death of a trucker.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), the pursuit began in Frackville, approximately 20 miles from where it ultimately ended in Hazleton.
Local news outlet The Citizens’ Voice (TCV) reported the incident began as a traffic stop.
The five hour pursuit and subsequent standoff started as a white semi entered Interstate 81 in Frackville.
Authorities have yet to release specific details surrounding the event, but the incident created quite the commotion in the area.
While video footage shared by witnesses on social media show a bobtail tractor leading law enforcement in the pursuit, PA Homepage reported the trailer detached at some point during the chase.
According to multiple local media outlets, the semi made its way through the areas of McAdoo and Tresckow and into the southern section of Hazleton.
Reports quickly surfaced that the trucker was armed.
Hazleton resident Tyler Memis encountered the police chase, telling the Shenandoah Sentinel authorities shut down a portion of a road in McAdoo.
“A state trooper stopped the road, and I really didn’t understand why, then I saw a semi truck go flying down the road,” Memis said. “There were probably like ten cops following him.”
When the chase reached Hazleton, witnesses reported the semi struck a Honda SUV before coming to rest behind the town’s ice rink.
TCV reported the trucker exited the truck around 4:10 p.m. and “was seen running on nearby railroad tracks.”
A helicopter was circling the area for hours as additional law enforcement officials arrived at the scene, including PSP’s Special Emergency Response Team (SERT).
At 7:47 p.m., Trooper Anthony Petroski with the PSP Tweeted the driver of the truck was armed and barricaded inside the cab.
At the time of Petroski’s update, no injuries had been reported.
However, out of precaution, the neighborhood was placed under a shelter-in-place-order by the Mayor.
Around 8:15 p.m., a PSP officer was heard yelling to onlookers: “Listen up people! Did you hear those shots? They were bullets flying.”
Petroski provided another update just before 10 p.m., stating the incident had come to an end and the trucker was deceased.
The Incident is over, the Actor is deceased. The investigation is on-going.
Thank you to the public for listening to PSP and staying inside your homes during this incident. https://t.co/tAqTq9m1uX
— Trooper Petroski (@PSPTroopNPIO) June 30, 2020
Petroski confirmed the investigation is ongoing, with the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office assisting investigators.
The identity of the trucker has not yet been released.
Additionally, authorities did not specify if the trucker died from police force or a self-inflicted injury.
However, a member of the Hazleton Fire Department told FOX56 the trucker had taken his own life.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to monitor the developments of this and keep you updated.
Photo courtesy Mariah Hudock
Watch a short video of the police chase and scenes from the standoff below.