COAL TOWNSHIP - Two men wanted for probation violations avoided apprehension after leading authorities on a vehicle and foot pursuit through the woods of Big Mountain.

According to Coal Township Patrolman Ed Purcell, Jake Snyder and Damian Dietrich, no known addresses, were driving a 1989 Toyota pickup that initially was reported stolen.

They were spotted in the Academy Hill section of Shamokin about 3:25 p.m. and drove into the woods behind the Raspberry Hill housing complex and into the Big Mountain section of Coal Township before abandoning the vehicle.

Police said the truck bumped into a Northumberland County Adult Probation vehicle while the men made their getaway.

Four Shamokin police officers chased them. At least two officers searched the woods south of the Fifth Ward and another took up a position on Shamokin Street.

Coal Township police were called to assist and were positioned on Route 125. Probation officers were also involved.

Purcell said Snyder and Dietrich called an acquaintance - Sam Peters, of 1032 W. Spruce St., Coal Township - who picked them up near Burnside and drove them over the mountain on Route 125, dropping them off at Bubba's Bar and Grill in Gowen City, which was closed.

From there, Purcell said they fled on foot.

Peters was pulled over in a Chevy Suburban on Route 125 and questioned by Shamokin police at the city station. He is the husband of the Toyota pickup's owner, Jamie Peters, according to Purcell.

Since the pickup was reported stolen from Coal Township, the case was transferred to the township police; however, Purcell said the owner eased off that accusation.

The pursuit was finished about 4:50 p.m.

The Toyota pickup was returned to its owner.

The incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Snyder and Dietrich are asked to call Coal Township police at 570-644-0333.