State police arrested an Ohio man accused of speeding beyond 100 mph on Interstate 80 as troopers followed in pursuit and after hitting spike strips causing him to cross into the oncoming lane, driving for 4 miles in excess of 80 mph and swerving at oncoming motorists, according to court papers.
Troopers took unspecified “legal intervention” to bring Josh Leach’s 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee to a stop, according to court papers. The pursuit began at 7:29 a.m. Sunday in Union County and continued along the interstate for 33 miles, ending in Centre County, court papers state.
Leach, 45, of Smithville, Ohio, is held in Union County Jail, Lewisburg, on $100,000 bail. He was arraigned Sunday by on-call Magisterial District Judge Lori Hackenburg on the following charges: flight to avoid apprehension, fleeing or eluding police and aggravated assault, all of which are felonies; a misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person; summary counts of reckless driving, careless driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, speeding, driving with a suspended license.
Cpl. Mark Conrad, Troop O West Canine Unit, filed the charges. According to arrest papers, Leach was driving 79 mph in a 70 mph zone while tailgating another motorist in Lewis Township, Union County, when Conrad attempted to make a traffic stop.
Leach continued driving west on the interstate at speeds in excess of 100 mph and continued into Clinton County, according to arrest papers. He twice avoided spike strips deployed by troopers from the Lamar station before striking a set deployed by troopers from the Rockview station at mile marker 159.7 in Centre County, arrest papers state.
After hitting the strips, police said Leach crossed into the eastbound lane but continued to drive west for 4 miles. According to court papers, Leach swerved toward oncoming vehicles before several troopers terminated the pursuit at 7:53 a.m.
Once the vehicle was stopped, Leach was taken into custody without further incident. A passenger in Leach’s vehicle not charged in the incident said she told Leach to stop and pull over but that Leach didn’t have a license and said he wasn’t going back to jail, court papers state.
State police said a records check found his license is suspended in Ohio.