State Police Arrest Driver Involved in Fatal Pursuit
Pennsville Township, Salem County - On Thursday, December 15, 2011 at approximately 2:50 a.m., Troopers assigned to the Woodstown State Police Barracks attempted to stop a green, GMC Jimmy, for a motor vehicle violation on I-295 southbound in Pennsville Twp, Salem County. The driver of the vehicle, Caleb Harris, 19, Camden, disregarded Trooper’s attempt to stop the vehicle and exited onto Route 49 eastbound at Exit #2. The driver then continued on Rt. 49 eastbound, when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. The vehicle sustained extensive damage on the passenger side and burst into flames. The Troopers immediately pulled Harris from the vehicle to safety. They then attempted to remove the passenger from the vehicle, but were unsuccessful because he was entrapped in the damaged vehicle.
Troopers and responding Emergency Medical Services personnel attempted to douse the flames with fire extinguishers, but were unable due to the intensity of the fire. The Pennsville Fire Department arrived and was finally able to extinguish the fire. The passenger was pulled from the vehicle, but was pronounced at the scene. Authorities are attempting to identify the passenger.
Caleb Harris was arrested and transported to Cooper Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Harris has been charged with the following:
Driving while Intoxicated
Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver's license causing a death (3rd degree)
Aggravated Manslaughter (1st degree)
Death by Auto (1st degree)
Eluding (2nd degree)
Harris will be interviewed in an attempt to determine why he made the decision to disregard the Troopers initial attempt to pull him over.
Harris’ bail has been set at $500,000.00 (full cash bail) and he will be lodged at the Salem County Jail pending his release from Cooper Hospital. No Troopers or other drivers were injured as a result of this incident.
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