Ashland pursuit ends in crash

May 19—ASHLAND — A raid at a borough home Friday lead to a vehicle pursuit, in which police said the fleeing suspects crashed into a borough police SUV and tossed weapons into a creek.

Ashland Police Chief Gerard Daley said the incident began around 11:10 a.m. when he was assisting federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives agents from Pennsylvania and New Jersey with an investigation involving narcotics and firearms.

Daley said his role was to stop the suspect with his marked police vehicle when they exited the home at 614 W. Centre St.

Daley said he pulled out from North Sixth Street, activated his emergency lights and sirens and placed his vehicle across Centre Street to stop the Chrysler Town & Country minivan when the suspects approached.

But Daley said the van's driver, identified as Sade Hill, 26, of 203 Walnut St., Ashland, turned the van into his police cruiser and struck it, causing extensive damage to the right front end.

Hill continued around the police vehicle and fled at a high rate of speed down Centre Street and south on Hoffman Boulevard toward Route 61, where the pursuit was terminated, police said.

Daley said the van continued to Beaver Dam Road at a high speed, almost losing control several times, before police stopped it. Hill and her passenger, Torre Ervin, then surrendered without incident.

Hill was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Stephen J. Bayer in Tamaqua and imprisoned on $50,000 straight cash bail. Ervin was jailed on unrelated charges.

Hill was charged with felony fleeing or attempting to elude police; felony aggravated assault; and misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person.

While fleeing, Daley said, the two threw objects, believed to be firearms, from their vehicle into a creek between Red, White and Blue Autos Inc. and Danny's Drive-In.

Members of the West End Fire and Rescue Company dive team were called and were able to recover one firearm from the water and, as of Friday afternoon, were searching for a second weapon.

Ashland firefighters provided traffic control along the area of Route 61, where the dive teams and police were working.

A spokesperson for the ATF office in Allentown said no information was available other than the dive teams were attempting to recover items.

Daley said his investigation deals with the police cruiser being struck and the pursuit and that information regarding the ATF activities has to come from that agency.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, additional divers were being called to the scene to assist in the search.

Daley said both Hill and Ervin were taken to a hospital for evaluation of any potential injuries.