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Pursuit ends in fiery crash; troopers pull 2 to safety

An 18-year-old man and a juvenile riding in his Toyota Camry were both pulled to safety late Monday night by a group of state troopers moments after the car crashed and caught fire following a pursuit that began in Loyalsock Township and ended on Kehrer Hill Road in Fairfield Township.

Both the driver, Gavin Schomburg, of 110 Evergreen Road, Hughesville, and the female minor are hospitalized with serious injures, police said.

Charges have been filed against Schomburg, who was “found to be in possession of a large amount of drugs,” Trooper Lauren Lesher said in a news release.

Schomburg faces felony charges of fleeing police, aggravated assault by vehicle, endangering the welfare of a child, possession with intent to deliver controlled substances as well as several misdemeanors including DUI, Lesher said.

The pursuit began just after 11 p.m. when Schomburg failed to stop for a blinking red traffic light on Canfield Lane, just outside Montoursville. Trooper Jacob Hook, who witnessed the traffic violation, activated his cruiser’s emergency lights and siren, but the driver headed east on Interstate 180, increasing in speed and weaving around other motorists in attempt to elude the officer.

Many other drivers had to slow down abruptly in order to avoid being hit by Schomburg’s vehicle, Hook said in an affidavit. The pursuit continued north on Route 87, east on Route 864 and north on Kehrer Hill Road for several miles until the teen lost control of the car and crashed, Lesher said.

After successfully pulling both occupants out of the burning Camry, troopers used portable extinguishers to put out the fire.

“Schomburg admitted that three hours before the crash, he took percocet and xanax as well as smoked marijuana,” Hook said. Among the girl’s injuries were a broken right arm and leg, he said. Schomburg was expected to be arraigned at later date, police said.

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