NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — A car chased by state police crashed into a township police officer's cruiser, killing him and seriously injuring another officer who was driving.
Shenango Township Officer William J. "Jerry" McCarthy IV, 60, died on the way to the hospital after the crash about 10 p.m. Thursday in New Castle, about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, not far from the Ohio border.
McCarthy and his partner, Officer Michael Lynch, responded when they learned state police were chasing Kylee Barletto, 25, because she was reportedly driving erratically and known to have a suspended license from a previous driving under the influence conviction. Online court records show Lynch had cited her for driving with a suspended license on April 12, and that she had been cited for various traffic offenses on seven occasions since May 2011.
Investigating troopers said the officers were aware of the chase and preparing to assist, but didn't realize where Barletto's car was when theirs was struck. Witnesses told police the cruiser was broadsided at an intersection by Barletto's car.
State police and Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa scheduled a news conference on the incident for Friday morning. McCarthy was well-known throughout the county because he served as its animal control officer and also worked as a detective in Lamancusa's office.
Lynch was taken to Jameson Hospital in New Castle for treatment of head and other injuries. Barletto was taken to a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, where she was being treated and guarded.
Online court records show police filed nine criminal charges and six traffic citations against Barletto, who was not immediately arraigned. The most serious charge she faces is manslaughter of a police officer. Some other counts include homicide by vehicle, fleeing and eluding police, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, with four citations for running stop signs and one each for careless driving and reckless driving.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Barletto, whose medical condition could not immediately available.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.