CLEARFIELD – A Williamsport man has been accused of leading police on a high-speed pursuit that resulted in two, separate crashes earlier this month in Clearfield County.
Shawn C. Shipton, 28, has been charged by Trooper David Patrick of the Clearfield-based state police with felony fleeing or attempting to elude an officer and aggravated assault (three counts).
He’s also been charged with misdemeanor simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and accident involving damage to attended vehicle/property, plus 24 summaries.
Shipton waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail.
The pursuit began around 7:50 p.m. May 11 after Trooper Todd Shive attempted to stop a 2004 Pontiac Sunfire for traveling at 91 miles per hour in a 70-miles-per-hour zone on Interstate 80 in Lawrence Township, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
However, its driver reportedly refused to stop and exited I-80 at Clearfield and entered onto state Route 879. After Shive lost sight of the suspect vehicle, it was located by township officers traveling in two, separate units.
During the pursuit, it was traveling west along Antes Hill Road and a Lawrence Township police unit was traveling east. The officer had his emergency lights fully activated, as their vehicles approached.
The suspect reportedly drove his vehicle directly at the police unit, striking its front end and side. He proceeded to flee, both officers turned around and they continued their pursuit down Antes Hill Road onto Carbon Mine Road and then SR 879.
When he traveled through the Hyde intersection, he was followed by a township officer. Another officer was subsequently involved in a crash with an unrelated, civilian vehicle, and its driver was seriously injured.
Due to an ongoing crash investigation, neither officer is being identified at this time at the request of Lawrence Township Police Chief Doug Clark.
The pursuit continued at high rates for several miles through Lawrence Township, Clearfield Borough and Bradford Township.
It ended when the suspect vehicle crashed and overturned onto its driver’s side on Independent Road, which is a dead-end roadway in Woodland.
The suspect and his female passenger fled on foot but were later located and identified by state police at a restaurant near the crash scene, according to the affidavit.
Shipton, along with the female, initially claimed they were traveling on I-80 but were “car-jacked” while pulled over to rest. Later, Shipton allegedly admitted he led police on the pursuit.
Shipton told troopers he was on state parole, and he fled because he didn’t want to go back to state prison for speeding and driving with a suspended license.
State Police, Troop C, Forensic Services Unit and a Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Specialist assisted with the Hyde crash investigation.
Also, multiple patrol units from Clearfield, Punxsutawney, Ridgway and Rockview assisted with the incident.