Crime

She narrowly missed crashing head-on into a police cruiser. Now she's facing charges

Driver arrested after crashing into gas pump

Spring Township police in Centre County, Pa., arrested a female driver on May 2, 2018, after she crashed into a gas pump in front of a police cruiser. The driver was taken in on suspicion of driving under the influence.
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Spring Township police in Centre County, Pa., arrested a female driver on May 2, 2018, after she crashed into a gas pump in front of a police cruiser. The driver was taken in on suspicion of driving under the influence.

A Benner Township woman is facing charges after narrowly avoiding a head-on collision into a police cruiser in Spring Township and crashing into a gas pump in May.

Whitney L. Baker, 31, was charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and DUI, and summary counts of reckless driving, careless driving, driving without a license and failure to use a seat belt.

Baker.jpg
Whitney Baker

Spring Township police posted a dash cam video on Facebook on May 7 of a white SUV driving recklessly into the Uni-Mart gas station at 106 W. College Ave. in Pleasant Gap. Tires could be heard squealing as the vehicle attempted to leave the parking lot, the post read.

As the vehicle headed toward Spring Township police Chief Michael Danneker's patrol car, it took a last-minute turn and struck a gas pump. Baker reported minor injuries, while Danneker was uninjured.

According to Danneker's criminal complaint, he had pulled into the Uni-Mart parking lot when he "heard the squealing wheels of a vehicle on the opposite side of the lot." A gray Jeep Liberty had come around the gas pumps nearly sideways accelerating toward his cruiser.

The driver swerved at the last second and smashed into a gas pump, he said. On contact with Baker, he noted she was "rambling on showing signs that are consistent with impairment."

She was recognized by officers as Baker, finding she had numerous warrants from two different counties, including Centre County.

Baker was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center where blood was drawn, the complaint said. A lab report indicated the presence of multiple substances, including methamphetamine, morphine and fentanyl.

Baker was arraigned via summons on June 28 before District Judge Thomas Jordan, according to court documents. A preliminary hearing is slated for July 25.

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