A state trooper testified Wednesday that a Bellefonte man he chased on Interstate 80 last week in Centre County into Clearfield County fled because he was scared of the cruisers flashing lights.
The testimony came during a preliminary hearing for William Tipton Jr., 18, on Wednesday, and a felony charge of fleeing police was bound over for possible trial. Tipton remains in jail on $5,000 bail.
The pursuit started late Friday on the interstate and involved vehicles moving at speeds faster than 100 mph. The chase led to a windy road off the Kylertown exit in Clearfield County where Tipton crashed into two trees, rolled his pickup truck and fled on foot, police said.
Police said Tipton later showed up at a truck stop in Kylertown looking for a ride to Bellefonte, and thats when he was taken into custody.
But Tipton wasnt driving drunk, police said, even though they said he was driving without a license.
Trooper Aaron Tiracorda testified the incident started with a call about an erratic driver in Milesburg who then got on the interstate. Tiracorda said it took him about six to seven minutes to catch up to Tipton on I-80, and Tipton didnt seem to be under the influence of alcohol.
But Tipton was going more than 75 mph, and Tiracorda said when he turned on his emergency lights, Tipton did not slow down or pull over. Tiracorda said he turned off the lights, changed lanes, and then re-activated the lights.
Then he took off at very high rate of speed, Tiracorda said.
All told, the chase was about 20 miles over the interstate and the windy road in Clearfield County.
Tipton showed up at the truck stop at around 3 a.m. and was taken to the state police barracks near Milesburg.
He explained to me that the reason that he left was that he was terrified of flashing lights, Tiracorda said.
Tiptons attorney, public defender Richard Settgast asked for the charges to be dismissed, arguing there wasnt an established connection between Tipton and the person driving the truck.
Prosecutor Yvette Willson said there was enough identification made for the case to be bound over.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT