HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A driver was killed in Westmoreland County on Thursday evening after he crashed his car while fleeing from police.
It happened just before 7:30 p.m. on SR 119 near Hannastown Road in Hempfield Township.
State police say 56-year-old Donald J. Smith, of Armbrust, Pa., was speeding in his Toyota Rav 4 and continued driving when police tried to pull him over.
He failed to negotiate a right curve in the road, went across the southbound lane and crashed into a utility pole and a tree on the side of the road.
The impact of crash drove most of the engine into the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
According to the Westmoreland County coroner’s report, Smith was trapped in his vehicle after the crash and sustained fatal injuries to his head, neck and chest.
Smith was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:12 p.m.
Police say Smith was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Investigators and first responders tell KDKA the part of 119 where it happened is very busy, and the fact no other vehicles were involved in the incident is remarkable.
Smith was charged with DUI in 2003 and driving without a license in 2011.
As is standard, a state police investigation into what happened is underway. The trooper involved in the incident remains on duty.