The motorist who took city police on a high-speed chase Sunday night, that ended only after he crashed his car into several trees at Harding Avenue and Grove Street, had 14 bundles of heroin in the vehicle, city Patrolman Eric Derr said.
Jeremy Alexander Gooden, 23, of 434 Center St., was taken into custody without incident immediately after the crash that occurred about 6:50 p.m. Later that night after being arraigned on several charges, he was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The pursuit began downtown at in the area of Seventh and Market streets after Gooden, driving a 2013 Chevrolet Impala, ran several stop signs, Derr said in an affidavit.
Derr activated his marked cruiser's emergency lights and siren, but Gooden sped off, running a traffic light at Washington Boulevard and Mulberry Street, "forcing motorists to use their brakes in an effort to avoid a collision," Derr said.
"Gooden then accelerated to speeds in excess of 60 mph as he traveled east on Brandon Place," the officer said.
As he headed north on Franklin Street and east on Grampian Boulevard, Gooden's vehicle reached speeds in excess of 80 mph, Derr said.
Gooden lost control of his vehicle and stuck a cluster of trees shortly after turning onto Harding Avenue.
Numerous other city police officers responded to assist in the pursuit and subsequent capture of the driver.
One of the officers en route to Harding Avenue was involved in a deadly crash at East Third and Railways streets.
Both the cruiser, driven by an unnamed officer, and a car driven by James David Robinson, 42, of Williamsport, were heading east on East Third Street when they collided, said state police, who are leading the crash investigation.
Following the collision, Robinson's car crashed into a utility pole and a vacant building at 711 Railways St., causing the vehicle's gas tank to explode and turn the car into a ball of fire. Robinson was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officer was treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for minor injuries and has been temporarily taken off-duty as the investigation into the crash continues.
When arrested, Gooden had on him $1,900 in suspected drug money. A search warrant executed on the car revealed 14 bundles of heroin and a second bag of heroin that weighed 11 grams.
Gooden was arraigned before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on charges of fleeing police, recklessly endangering, possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless driving.