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Officer, suspect plunge off overpass after Pa. chase

The officer fell 22 feet after a 20-mile chase that involved five departments

By Margaret Harding
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

CRANBERRY, Pa. — A Cranberry police officer was injured following a chase that ended when the suspect jumped off an overpass in Butler County.

Cranberry police identified the officer as Corporal Dan Hahn, 47, who has been with the department for 21 years.

Hahn was chasing Thomas Booth, 22, of Volant, Lawrence County, state police said. The chase began about 10:30 p.m. yesterday when a Sewickley Heights officer approached Booth while he was parked at a church on Blackburn Road.

Booth fled, beginning a chase that encompassed 20 miles, two counties and five police departments, state police said.

Jackson Township police used road spikes on Interstate 79 near the Evans City exit, state police said. The tires of Booth’s vehicle deflated near the Tollgate Road overpass, and he tried to run away by jumping from the overpass, state police said.

He fell 22 feet to the Tollgate Road surface, as did Hahn, who was pursing Booth on foot, state police said.

Medics flew Booth to UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland and Hahn to Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side, state police said. Both men are in critical condition this morning, hospital officials said.

“We’re all concerned for him and his family,” said Cranberry Sgt. Chuck Mascellino. “We’re trying to give as much support as we can.”

Booth was suspected to be driving under the influence, state police said. Charges are pending.

This article originally ran in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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