Police chase ends with car in pond
A vehicle pursuit by state police on Indian Springs Road, White Township, Friday night ended with a vehicle in a pond and its two passengers injured.
State police at Indiana were called to the Walmart in White Township at 10:49 p.m. for a report of an individual trying to steal items from the store. When troopers arrived the suspects fled in a gold Buick Century.
Police said the driver of the Buick accelerated rapidly around the police cruiser and fled on Route 286. The troopers pursued and the chase continued onto Indian Springs Road.
At the intersection of Indian Springs Road and Route 954, the driver of the Buick lost control because of its speed and the car went across a grassy area, up an embankment, flipped and landed on its roof in a pond that was about 5 feet deep.
Police said the Buick’s driver, Kevin Vasbinder, 21, of Mentcle, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car.
A passenger, identified by police only as a 16-year-old female, was trapped in the car as it began to fill with water.
Paul Koons, an assistant chief of the Indiana Fire Association, said “the wheels were sticking up” out of the water which he said was “neck deep.” State troopers and firefighters jumped into the pond and freed the female, who Koons said was injured and unconscious.
Vasbinder was treated for minor injuries at Indiana Regional Medical Center and was charged with aggravated assault, causing an accident involving injury, recklessly endangering another person, fleeing police and several summary offenses.
He was placed in the Indiana County Jail.
Police said the female passenger was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.
The Blairsville fire department’s water rescue team also assisted at the scene.