A Woodland man facing charges from several unrelated incidents, including a high-speed police chase and a crash that caused injuries to a 71-year-old woman, pleaded guilty Tuesday during a special session of sentencing court in Clearfield County.
In August 2016, Richard Earl Harris, IV, 21, was involved in a crash on Bigler Road in Bradford Township that left a woman confined to a wheelchair with a fractured wrist and knee.
According to the affidavit, Harris was driving recklessly in the parking lot of the Minit Mart before he pulled onto the road, where he struck the woman’s vehicle at a high rate of speed.
Police on the scene said he had bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol about him. He reportedly refused to submit to a field sobriety tests. A test revealed his blood alcohol content was 0.189, according to the report.
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The second incident occurred in May 2017, after police spotted a vehicle operated by Harris speeding on state Route 879 near Interstate 80 exit 120. When the officer saw the vehicle go into a parking lot, he activated his lights for a traffic stop, but the vehicle left the lot at a high rate of speed.
This chase eventually involved other police officers and ended after more than 12 miles near Frenchville when the vehicle became stuck in a ditch. During the chase, police said, the vehicle reached speeds of 124 mph, rammed a metal gate, drove back toward a police car forcing it to swerve to avoid a collision and struck a police car that was blocking the roadway.
Harris then reportedly tried to escape on foot, but he was quickly apprehended.
Harris pleaded guilty Tuesday in the first case to aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, DUI and a summary charge. He was sentenced to two to five years in state prison by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman.
For the second case, he pleaded guilty to fleeing or attempting to elude police, aggravated assault, accidents involving injury and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to concurrent term of six months to two years in state prison.
In a third unrelated case, he was given one year probation for materially false written statement for not filling out a firearms transaction form correctly.