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Driver Suspected of DUI Slams into Vehicle While Eluding Police

Thursday, October 13, 2022 @ 12:10 AM

Posted by Jacob Deemer

Red and blue police lights in cityBETHEL TWP., Pa. (EYT) – Three Newbie residents found themselves in the middle of a police chase in which a driver suspected of DUI slammed into their vehicle while attempting to elude police on Saturday night. 

According to Kittanning-based State Police, the incident occurred around 9:27 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, in Bethel Township, Armstrong County.

Police say a trooper on patrol near Dime Road, in Bethel Township, Armstrong County, observed a blue GMC Sierra pickup truck traveling south on Dime Road. The pickup was observed crossing the white fog line before striking a guide rail.

According to police, an attempted traffic stop was initiated, but the operator, later identified as 46-year-old Justin Hagofsky, of Vandergrift, failed to stop. A vehicle pursuit was initiated, which traversed Darbaker Road, Grantz Hollow Road, Dime Road, and Spruce Hollow Road. The pursuit reached speeds in excess of 70 MPH.

During the chase, the pickup truck collided with an uninvolved 2019 Chevrolet Silverado on Dime Road. The occupants of the uninvolved vehicle were identified as a 51-year-old female, a 56-year-old male, and a 25-year-old male, all of New Bethlehem. They were not injured, according to police.

Police say Hagofsky proceeded to flee from the scene of the crash before eventually stopping on Polka Drive, where he then began to flee on foot.

Hagofsky was apprehended in the woods after an approximate 300-yard foot pursuit, according to police.

Police say Hagofsky displayed signs of impairment, including watery, bloodshot eyes, and there was a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his person.

He was transported to PSP Kittanning, where he consented to chemical testing. A chemical breath test yielded a BrAC of 0.205%, according to police.

According to court documents, Hagofsky was arraigned at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 9, in front of District Judge J. Gary DeComo on the following offenses:

– Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Officer, Felony 3
– DUI/BAC .16% and Greater, Misdemeanor
– DUI/Unsafe Driving, Misdemeanor
– Resisting Arrest/Other Law Enforcement, Misdemeanor
– Obstructing Administrative Law/Other Government Function, Misdemeanor
– Accidents Involving Damage to Attended Vehicle or Property, Misdemeanor 3
– Failure to Stop and Give Information/Render Aid, Summary
– Reckless Driving, Summary
– Careless Driving, Summary
– No Rear Lights, Summary
– Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
– Failure to Keep Right, Summary
– Driving At Safe Speed, Summary
– Not Yielding at Roadway, Summary
– Duties at Stop Sign, Summary (two counts)
– Failure to Yield Right, Summary
– Exceed 25 MPH Residence District By 45 MPH, Summary
– Operating Vehicle Without Required Financial Responsibility, Summary

Unable to post $15,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Armstrong County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is set for 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, with District Judge James Andring presiding. 

PSP Kittanning released the above report on Thursday, October 13, 2022.

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