2-County Police Chase Suspect Dies, Officer In Critical Condition

JACKSON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A police officer was injured during a police chase that spanned two counties late Monday evening. The suspect died as a result of injuries sustained during a foot chase Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, Thomas Booth, 22, of Volant, was in his car in a church parking lot  on Blackburn Road in Sewickley Heights. An officer approached around 10:24 p.m. suspecting Booth was driving under the influence.

Booth failed to comply with the officer and fled from the scene.

The high-speed chase spanned 20 miles, and crossed into Butler County with speeds in excess of 100 mph on Interstate 79.

Police in Jackson Township deployed spike strips on I-79 near mile marker 83. With the tires deflated, the vehicular chase ended near mile marker 84.8.

Booth then tried to flee on foot by jumping from an overpass. He fell 22 feet onto Tollgate Road, where he was taken into custody.

“After the stop, the subject got out of the car. He jumped over the jersey barrier to flee on foot, which he apparently didn’t know it was a 22-foot drop. He fell down. An officer from cranberry township also ran on foot after him, jumped over the jersey barrier and fell 22 feet also,” Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bradley Christie

Booth was flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital where he later died.

Cranberry Police Lt. Dan Hahn, 47,  was flown to Allegheny General Hospital. He underwent surgery for neck and back injuries and is listed in critical condition.

Hahn is a 21-year veteran of the Cranberry Township police department.

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  • Daniel

    This was for a possible DUI. Get the plate number from the car and discontinue the chase when speeds reach this level. DUI is serious but there is more danger from a drunk being pursued at these speeds than calling off the chase. No need to risk the life of the officers or the general public here. Call off the chase and show up at the address listed on the registration and arrest for eluding. If that had happened then the officer nor the suspect would not be injured. Chases like this should be reserved for serious felonies involving life and death situations only.

    • Georgie

      I agree, was it necessary for a young man to lose his life and an office to be
      hurt. No sometimes I really don’t think the police use their heads its all about the braggin right that he made the arrest

      • Jeff

        Yea well all get excited when you put our lives on the line for idiots like this kid. You watch to much TV Georgie.

    • lawfollower

      Thomas W. Booth, 22, Volant, was charged at 10 p.m. Thursday with harassment, driving under suspension and driving without a license at 2001 Leesburg-Grove City Road, Springfield Township, police said. Booth used a cell phone to hit a 19-year-old Grove City woman and then shoved her into the snow, police said.

      This was the week before this happened . . . so I COMPLETELY disagree with you. This WAS a dangerous person who could have killed someone in YOUR family, and then how would you feel if they stopped chasing him???

      • krysta

        key words… COULD HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but he didnt and u no nothing of what happened about that harrasment charge do u?!?! NO! things got a lil out of hand completely admitted but he never beat me up nor hit me!! dont say things u dont no the truth about… just because the paper said so! he was not DANGEROUS, if he was i wouldnt have had a child with him… what to endanger her life?

      • Adam B.

        He was not a dangerous person! i worked with him and his father and they are both good kind men. Yes he made some bad decisions, Who hasn’t in their life? I’m not blaming the police because they were doing their jobs and now one of them is fighting for his life, and Tommy was scared, and when you’re scared you make rash sometimes wrong decisions but this tragedy could have been easily avoided, either by the police discontinuing the chase, Tommy not running to begin with, or even if the stop sticks were thrown 100 feet before or after that overpass. but it happened and now a little girl is without a father, a mother and father are without a son, and a sister is without a brother. and Krysta my heart goes out to you as well. i never met you but Tommy talked about you at work and I’m truly sorry… we will all miss him and we will miss the way him and his dad argue on the roof because that was always entertaining… All we can do now is remember the Tommy we all had the pleasure to know and pray that God takes care of him

    • Dave

      Good points.

    • you are a joke

      you are a dope

    • Brian

      Maybe they should have asked if he had committed a felony before chasing him. What if they found a body in his trunk……You never know why someone runs from the police. Yet, the police get all the blame. All HE HAD TO DO WAS STOP.

    • HK

      good theory BUT when the drunk proceeds to hit and kill an innocent person you would probably be the first one yelling that the polce should have stopped him.

    • Justpullover

      Daniel, I understand your reaction, stating that the police should have simply allowed him to drive away due to the fact that the offense was not serious enough to justify a pursuit, but unfortunately as well intentioned as you are, your logic is flawed. The problem with this policy to police pursuits is that once the general public is aware that the police will not pursue for DUI and similar offenses, people simply will not stop for the police. It’s been tried by other well intentioned people across the country. It just doesn’t work.
      This is a very sad situation. The young man should not have passed so young, but he is the only person responsible for his own demise.

  • Meg

    Thomas Booth has since passed away. I feel for his family.
    I also feel for the officer that was injured.

    • tuff

      A high price to pay for for lack of respect for the law

      • bob

        the idiot got what he deserved saved the tax payers some money

    • Kris

      Interesting, this comment is 3 hours old and yet no media outlets have reported this information.

      Yes, a very high price to pay for fleeing the law.

      Prayers go out to the officer and his family.

    • anon

      he is actually still fighting. so if you could please remove this comment.

      • AnOn

        Actually it was reported at 7:02 that he died. On this website.. :/ And it’s SUSPECT (not CRIMINAL) for a reason, I don’t recall reading that he was charged and convicted of anything.

      • kristy

        whatever. he died.

      • kristy

        well, did the criminal die or not????? ho hum.

  • Tom

    Why did the cop also jump off the bridge? Any bridge over another road is going to be at least 13 feet high, plus the ‘wall’ adds at least 2 more feet. Hopefully they recover.

  • Tips

    sounds like the cop was a bruce willis fan.

  • mdutko

    Didn’t the cop’s mother ever ask him, “If everybody else jumps off a bridge will you jump too?”

    • mdtukohater

      Shut up you waste of space welfare trash. Our tax payer dollars probably bought you this computer and you have the audacity to talk trash on a public servant that get up every day to protect you from criminals and probably yourself. Go get a job and stop sitting around all day making comments about things you don’t have the bravery to do. Your screen name should be IDIOT.

  • Police Supporter

    While I agree that the chase should have been discontinued, the police did not get anyone killed. If anyone is at fault for causing injury it is the criminal who was fleeing the police, putting his own life and officers lives in danger. It is the criminal’s fault he was injured/killed. It was also his fault that the officer was injured. It is hard for a lay person to understand the emotion involved in pursuing a criminal.

    • CommonSense

      Can’t have it both ways. Just like the cop didn’t force the suspect to flee, the suspect didnt’ force the cop to jump from a bridge. It’s not hard for a lay person to know not to jump off a bridge.

    • Daniel

      I agree that the fault rests with the person being chased. But as professionals the chase should have been discontinued before this happened UNLESS the plate came back that this person was a wanted felon for a serious felony or the police witnessed a crime that was a serious felony. This is a perfect example of why we need more police helicopters in this area. Chase from the air. The public and the officers would be much safer. Hopefully the officer will recover. All I am saying is that rules need to be in place to protect the public as well as the police in situations like this.

  • the truth

    Are you people serious? This guy was a criminal plain and simple yes it was a suspected DUI but the guy could have been wanted for murder, who knows. People wouldn’t have said it was just a DUI if the guy ran over a kid or caused another accident. This is the problem with people today…try using that thing that is sticking out of your neck…

    • jamie.

      this kid actually graduated from the same school i did and was living in the same area i live in, he was not a criminal, he was a suspect and he was deff. not wanted for murder. don’t be saying stuff that you don’t know the facts about.

  • Scott

    How do you know that he wasn’t a violent criminal with a gun in the car? While I wasn’t there the article says he did not comply with the officer then fled the scene. To me that means he didn’t even get out of the car and just left. None of the officers nor us had any knowledge as to why he is running, perhaps he had just killed someone. It is easy to judge after the fact what should have been done, at the moment noone knew why he was running so the chase was very justified.

    • kayla

      The police knew why he was running considering they THOUGHT he was drunk.

      • In Disbelief

        AGAIN….how many drunks do they apprehend??? how many run? It is outrageous for you to assume police officers knew why he ran…you certainly don’t. Stop degrading this tragedy by spouting non-sense. It is not a tribute to your friend. It simply makes you sound absurd and grasping at straws. tragedy yes. Not everyone DUI suspect approached starts a chase and runs when caught. Usually it means much more is at stake…that’s what police officers KNOW my dear.

  • kristy

    quit blaming the cops and put it where it belongs – with the criminal! geesh!

    • Tammie


  • Ken Y

    I agree with Kristy, quit talking about the police as the bad guys. they are doing there job.

    • Laurel Mt

      The police have no way of knowing what the guy was up to. They would have to consider many things…did the guy commit a serious crime, did he have a kidnapped child in the car, is it an escaped convict? Some of the comments are just plain rude. In response to mdutko: It’s obvious that YOUR mother didn’t teach you much. As a close friend of the injured officer, I’m sure his wife & children don’t appreciate the mindless, inconsiderate comments. If it were one of your family members trying to do their job would you say the same thing? It’s generally a good rule to think first before saying things.

  • FHT

    We should thank god we have men and women like this officer out in the field. He was trying to take a bad guy off the street to make us safer. Yes high speed chases. police have to deal with everyday. We all hope they make the right choice to keep going or to stop. Some people say to stop the chase it may cause people to get hurt or killed. But if the police do stop the chase and the driver goes up the road and hurt or kills someone. That is the choice a police officer must make. The chase was at night and when the car was stopped and the bad guy started to run the officer went after him for both fell 22 feet both make a bad choice. Thats a life of a police officer A thankless job but thank god someone does it. Thank to you all that put on the uniform to serve and protect.

    • kristy

      i agree completely. it’s funny how the cops are vilified and the criminals are glorified. this country’s in a really sad state.

      • Megan

        It’s sad that people like you make this world a sad state with your disgusting comments

  • For Real People

    For all your people bashing saying the police are at fault and should have ended the chase, you are the same people who would have started a war when the police did back off and later on down the road the drunk driver, they just let go, crashes and kills people. Until you do the job and know what its like, don’t talk down on these officers decisions.

  • kristy

    oh, but the “bad guys” are ALWAYS misuderstood and are SUCH good boys.

  • Al

    I feel sorry for both families. They both have to go through something awful.
    And Kristy what if Tom was your brother, Boyfriend or even just a friend would you like ppl saying the things you have said. No you would not.
    And that goes for the officer involved also. If either was a family member or a friend it would hurt to hear them get bashed on here. My heart goes out to both families.

    • kristy

      al – how would YOU have felt if this drunk killed YOUR brother, girlfriend, or even just a friend? the organizations, MADD and SADD, exist because of people like this guy.

      • Megan

        Kristy- How would YOU feel if your son or someone close to you had died and people like YOU posted outrageous comments such as, “Whatever, he died. Ho hum.” You are inappropriate and a terrible person to say such things about someone you CLEARLY DID NOT KNOW. Please just save your time and worry about things that you know the facts about. If his sister saw the comments that you’ve made I cannot even imagine how much worse you’d make her feel. You don’t know his family and you sure as hell did not know him. Go home

      • Al

        I totally agree Megan. He was a nice kid and his baby is so cute. But it is a shame she will grow up with out knowing her father.

      • kristy

        well, megan, i had a cousin, who was a child, KILLED by a drunk driver, so, NO, i feel absolutely NO sympathy for people like this guy (or his family) who RIP peoples’ lives apart and TEAR apart a family due to reckless and irrresponsible choices and behavior. SHAME on you for coming to his defense when he made the CHOICE to do what he did..

      • BOb

        MADD and SADD are both jokes. Go take a look at what % of the charity handed to them actually goes to CHARITY. They have a payroll in the millions. What started as a heart broken mother trying to do good has turned into another money grubbing scam. Don’t give a dime to MADD

      • kayla

        Have some respect that “DRUNK” is now gone. Regardless of what he did he is a human being.

      • kayla

        Kristy- You are a disgrace! Seriously. You are not the only person in the world who has lost a person due to drunk driving. Many of us have, but I sure would never say the disgusting things you are. Yes it hurts, but just as we hurt when we lost someone so do the families of drunk drivers who suffer losses. How could any DECENT human being say they feel no compassion for a child who has lost their father. I can’t even begin to describe the disgust I feel when reading your posts. I hope God helps you in some way with your hate as I hope he helps me with my disgust for you.

    • In Disbelief

      I suppose it’s bashing someone to state that they FLED the police, caused a high speed chase and that their OWN actions had horrible consequences for not only them but for a PROTECTOR of our community. He didn’t fall from a church pew over that barrier…get a grip!!!

  • Kathleen

    Hot pursuits at 100 miles an hour I’m surprised more people were ‘not killed or injured
    Outlaw this type of theatrics., it doesn’t add to anyone’s safety.

  • Dave

    Yeah cops should never chase suspects. (sarcasm) If criminals know that police won’t pursue they will always run. The officers who pursue many times do not know why a suspect runs, just that he is running. Many factors are considered while pursuing such as time of day, amount of traffic, speed, etc.. Everyone can judge but until you are the officer or the victim of a crime praying for justice you will never truly understand. These officer risked their lives to stop someone who was a threat to others and the thanks they get is to be Monday morning quarterbacked. I’d love to see the public criticize what you guys do for a living.

  • Bugsy

    DUI =$$$$

  • JiM

    Actually he was a good guy, going trhough a a hard time. The police should call off these chases unless its a known killer or something. This was a good kid.

    • yep

      if he was a good kid, then why did he run?

      • kristy

        yea, the “misunderstood good kid” bs. they’re all little angels, huh?

    • yep

      also you say he was going through a touch time? so his tough time has had a span has lasted since 2007 since he has had prior offenses? get real bro

      • kristen wall

        yes it did, and it was alchol!!! No other offenses. We the friends of thomas know what he did was wrong, and that he could have hurt more people. But nobody will ever know what was going through his head. Hasn’t anyone ever had a rough time in there life. We are beyond grief .And on top of burying are best friend we have to worry about media,and people like this trashing his name. Let him rest in peace and don’t bash someone you have never met!!Can you imagine what his mother is going through? and to the people that have had family or friends die from drunk drivers we also feel for you.Let it go please!!

  • Sparky4160

    I don’t get it, people leave intoxicated after sporting events here in the “Burgh”
    I have witnessed drunken driving at its best but yet no police to follow these individuals to their point of destination, the guy was in a church parking lot, as it was mentioned above by “Daniel” call the chase off after getting plate numbers

    • hoth

      You wouldn’t be saying that if they took the plate number, he drove out of the parking lot and hit your daughter. Correct?

  • hunky

    I think that’s great. One less moron. Hahahaha! Good that he won’t be driving drunk anymore.

    • kristen wall

      your parents should be ashamed of you. I’m a close friend of tommy he was with me last nite before this all happened, he was not a criminal he had never been in trouble before, and he also has a 9mth old daughter that will grow up without a father. Cant you people just find something else to do today. we also feel bad for the police officer if they would have ran the plates they would have known he wasnt a violent criminal.Just had a lot going on in his life and didnt know how to handle things. While you people are tryin tomplace blame my husband will be carring a casket.

      • kristy

        he shouldn’t have been drinking and driving, kristen. a drunk killed my young cousin. he’s alive and she’s dead.

      • kristy

        who cares if he was a career criminal?! when he fled the scene, he was putting his ilfe, along with the lives of others, in jeopardy! he was pulled over, and he decided to run! he’s entirely at fault.

    • Megan

      You sound like the moron. Hunky, is that your real name? Hahahaha! Get your facts straight and don’t comment on people that now don’t have a voice. Maybe people such as yourself with your vile comments should be the ones in the ground. Keep adding to the hate because God knows this world is so much better with heartless and uninformed people in it!

  • Danielle

    we witnessed this event last night on our way back to college from the mall. booth flew past us at high speeds with at least 8 cops after him. we saw the cop jump over the barrier, and we didnt even realize we were on a bridge, so there would have been no way the cop would have known not to jump.

    • Terry

      > , so there would have been no way the cop would have known
      Actually there are jersey barriers on the bridges, and guide rails elsewhere. But in the moment of chasing someone I could definitely see where that is forgotten. Hopefully the cop comes out okay.

  • CJ

    The death of a child is never a good thing… My prayers go to both families :'(

  • Reverend Jim Ignatowski

    I suggest we take all the billions invested in courts, DUI crackdowns, A-R-D programs, police training, rehabilitation programs, property damage, fines, and jails and invest it in safe, affordable, convenient taxi service. All that money is being spent on the wrong end of this problem which is after lives are destroyed. It is nearly impossible to get a cab in this city. Its disgraceful really. Events like this can absolutely be avoided.

    • kayla

      I completely agree! Obviously it is wrong to drink and drive, but it is legal to drink. If there were a cab service in this area I believe it WOULD make a difference.

  • Christine

    Kristy, You seem pretty heartless…You should also keep in mind NOT all cops are honest….maybe you should read up on the wonderful Officer Scarpine that now has a federal suit coming his way!!!

    • kristy

      who cares? the guy shouldn’t have been drinking and driving. sounds sensible to me.

      • Al

        To the Mother of the child. I am sorry for your and the family”s loss. My heart goes out to all of you. Please give Tom’s family my deepest sympathy.

      • Christine

        You really need help…..I don’t know this kid from adam but he is accused of drinking and driving and not convicted..the news just said appeared to be! You are sticking up for all cops well NOT all cops are honest ask Officer Scarpine! You better watch yourself because it could happen to you too!!!

      • Brad

        Then If he was innocent why run ? If he was simply accused and bot guilty why run at 100mph and then get out on foot? Sorry ur wrong.


        seriousle your a worthless piece of work!!!!! y dont u come tell our daughter that her father deserved to die! ur discusting, pittiful, low lifed, incsensitive, ignorent, and i could go on for ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you didnt no him so keep ur mouth shut u slob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just as any normal person… ya i feel for ur cousin… not u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have no sorrow for u what so ever! i hope u plan on spending ur days in hell after ur dead cuz god doesnt want anyone who wishes death apon any of his children! i didnt even believe in god until tom walked into my life and he woulnt intentionally hurt anyone! ur horrid!!!!!!!!!!!! no one deseves to die! and as far as him beating me up… NO things got a lil out of hand, thats it! u werent there so u dont no what happened so SHUT UP ABOUT MY DAUGHTERS DAD!!!!!!!!!!!! u obviously dont have idea any of the pain any of us r feeling wrather he was drunk or not… hes gone! u of all ppl so it sounds should no how it feels to hurt over a loss! then again u have no heart!!!! have no sypothy for him or his family… GO TO HELL WE DONT WANT IT ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we new who he was and the good person he was ,who yes had some problems like we all do and made a mistake! he didnt kill anyone but himself so stop with the what ifs b/c he didnt!!!!!!!!!! and as far as the cop getting hurt… everyone knows the risks of being a police officer so ast like he didnt have a choice… b/c he did! im not saying that any of this deserved to happen by no means and not a single person said it was ok what tom did b/c it wasnt! i no that, his mom knows, everyone does!!!!!!!!! and ill have u no… i believe god chose him! he has takin toms life to give 5 i repeat 5 lives already so go on and say what u want about the lives heCOULD HAVE taken BUT DIDNT and THE 5 PEOPLES LIVES HE HAS SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the most beautiful, intelligent, happy little girl he has also givin life to!!!!! 1 person got hurt… yes its sad and horrible that it happend but he NEVER DESERVED TO DIE AS NOONE DOES!!!!!!!!!!!!
        UR TRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! like i said come here an say that to my daughter u ungreatful piece of junk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brian

    Again, get a grasp on reality. The criminal (not suspect) fled from the police. They didn’t know why. Maybe he just killed someone. Maybe he was going to kill someone. Any way you look at it, the CRIMINAL should have just pulled over. End of story. Instead of criticizing the brave officers, maybe you should just say “Thank You for the service you provide”. The police didn’t endanger any lives, your poor criminal did. God Bless the injured Officer.

    • Tyler

      Brian I completely agree with you! Why is everyone so against the police? They followed proper protocol. The suspect should have pulled over. end of story.

    • Devil's Advocate

      Just as you argue the police don’t know if the suspect just killed someone you can argue the opposite. How do we know the cop didnt have some vendetta against the suspect? Maybe the cop knew the suspect was a troublemaker so he stuck his revolver in his mouth and told him I’ll give you a 5 second running head start? Maybe the cop was drunk? Now, I don’t believe these things are likely, but they are not impossible. I myself believe 99% of cops are good cops. I believe Lt Hahn is a good cop, but please dont assume this is a closed case until the investigation is complete.

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