SOUTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A high-speed chase through North Strabane Township ends with a violent crash in South Strabane, and police say the SUV that fled was not even the car they were looking for.
State police said a trooper was not initially pursuing the car that fled. The trooper was headed to help a disabled vehicle. Police said when the trooper got behind the SUV the woman took off, leading police on a chase exceeding 90 miles per hour.
Police said when the woman tried to turn right onto Racetrack Road, she lost control and crashed into a water tanker.
It was a calm Friday morning until the chase that seemed to come out of nowhere.
“For some odd reason, this vehicle was not involved in anything the trooper was going to — just a random vehicle,” said Trooper Robert Broadwater, Pennsylvania State Police Troop B.
Police said when the trooper got behind it, the SUV took off.
“Sped off in a high rate of speed off 79 North. This caused suspicion for the trooper,” Trooper Broadwater said.
According to police, the trooper had his lights and sirens on, but the SUV refused to stop.
“He traveled off of the Houston exit, made a right onto 519, trooper then began to follow him and pursue him a little bit. Still with the lights and sirens on,” Trooper Broadwater said.
The chase moved onto Route 19. Police said the water tanker was stopped facing Washington Road when the speeding SUV suddenly crashed into it.
Medical helicopters took off from the DoubleTree Hotel parking lot. The female driver and her two passengers were seriously injured. Their conditions are unknown.
The driver has been identified as 18-year-old Deja Weaver, of Pittsburgh. One passenger was identified as 21-year-old Nasstylejah Wilkerson, of Houtzdale, Pa., and the other passenger was an unidentified 17-year-old.
The name of the Trooper involved in the chase has not been released. The water tanker driver was shaken up but not hurt.
The westbound lane of Racetrack Road was closed for hours as an accident reconstruction team gathered evidence from the violent crash scene.
“There was no leakage. The only leakage there was oil from that truck because the vehicle hit the side and we have a little bit of an oil leak. It’s not significant. It’s already cleaned up,” Trooper Broadwater said.
The SUV is now evidence in the state police investigation. Police would not say if anything illegal was found inside the car.
Weaver is facing fleeing and eluding and DUI charges.