After 110 mph on 222, man flees cops, crashes, police say

5 people, including driver, taken to hospital

ONTELAUNEE TWP., Pa. - A man who passed cars as he drove at approximately 110 mph on Route 222, with his pregnant fiancée and another man as his passengers, led police on a chase before causing a five-vehicle crash that sent several people to the hospital, police said.

It all started shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday when Northern Berks Regional police Det. Brian Horner said he spotted the blue Chevy Traverse driving at a high rate of speed in the northbound lanes of Route 222.

Horner followed in his unmarked police car, activating his emergency lights and siren at the Laureldale exit ramp in an attempt to stop the car, which slowed but kept going, according to court documents released Friday.

The driver of the suspect car then led Horner onto Dries Road and then Snyder Road before turning onto farm property, where a man jumped out of the rear passenger side of the fleeing car, police said.

Horner said he then lost sight of the car as it got back onto Snyder Road and headed back in the direction from which it came.

A few minutes later, a Muhlenberg Township police officer reported that the fleeing car caused a five-vehicle crash at Route 222 and Park Road in Ontelaunee Township, and that the driver, identified as Clayton Smith, and his pregnant fiancée got out and ran off on foot, according to court documents.

Muhlenberg officers apprehended both of them after a brief foot chase.

Five people, including Smith, were taken to the hospital for injuries they suffered in the crash, police said. The fiancée was also taken to the hospital for injuries to her face and an evaluation of her pregnancy.

Smith, 21, of Maxatawny Township, was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, recklessly endangering another person, accidents involving death or personal injury, driving without a license, reckless driving and related traffic offenses. He was committed to the Berks County Jail on $60,000 bail.

Neither of Smith's passengers has been charged.

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