Man charged after high-speed chase to Tharptown
SHAMOKIN - A Sunbury man who fled from police at more than 80 miles per hour last week because he was afraid of going to jail for an expired inspection sticker has been charged with multiple offenses, including reckless driving.
Police said Samuel E. Derr Jr., 33, of 1145 Mount Pleasant Road, paused at the intersection of Route 61 (Sunbury Street) and Market Street at 6:50 p.m. March 13 before spotting Patrolman Raymond Siko II behind him in his mirror. Police said Derr then accelerated his sport utility vehicle and traveled through a red light north on Route 61, causing the driver of a vehicle traveling on Market Street to slam on his brakes.
Siko activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop Derr, but he continued to flee north on Route 61 at more than 80 miles per hour while traveling through a red light at the Cameron Bridge, police said.
Upon reaching Tharptown, police said Derr made an abrupt right turn onto Center Street, nearly losing control of his vehicle. Police said Siko continued to pursue Derr, who drove through a stop sign at Center Street and Hospital Road before continuing north at a high rate of speed. Police said Derr slammed on his brakes and came to a stop at 19th and Center streets.
When asked by Siko why he fled, Derr said he was scared. Derr said he understood he could have killed himself or someone else by his reckless driving. Derr then told police he fled because his inspection expired at the end of February and he didn't want to go to jail.
Derr told Siko he thought he could lose the officer by turning off in Tharptown.
Derr faces a misdemeanor of fleeing or attempting to elude police and summaries of reckless driving, careless driving, a red light violation and operating a vehicle without proper inspection.