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Penn. state trooper seriously injured during pursuit

May 22, 2007
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Penn. state trooper seriously injured during pursuit

Fiery crash kills 2

HARVEYS LAKE, Pa. — A high-speed car chase ended in a fiery head-on crash in which two men died and a state trooper was seriously injured, police said.

The chase started around 7 a.m. Sunday near Tunkhannock when state police were investigating a car accident. A car sped through the accident scene and police pursued the vehicle south on Route 29 into Luzerne County, authorities said.

A second police cruiser, driven by Trooper Truman Brandt, was traveling north on Route 29 to join the pursuit.

As the fleeing car approached, it crossed the center line — apparently passing another vehicle — and collided head-on with Brandt's cruiser. Both cars burst into flames.

John Edward Reilly, 18, of Dallas, was thrown from the car and died of multiple traumatic injuries, Luzerne County Deputy Coroner Curtis Swanson said. The second victim was burned so badly dental records will be needed to identify him, Luzerne County Deputy Coroner William Lisman said.

Brandt, 38, a 15-year veteran, was hospitalized with serious injuries, including several broken bones.

He was listed in serious condition on Monday afternoon, said Trooper Tom Kelly, a state police spokesman.

It was unknown whether Reilly or the other man was driving the car.

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