Suspect Speeds Wrong Way Down Pa. Turnpike for 8 Miles

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. --

A car traveling the wrong way on the Pennsylvania Turnpike crashed near New Sewickley at mile-marker 21 as police were pursuing it.

There is no word on what prompted the chase, which started late Wednesday morning.

Pennsylvania State Police said the chase was in the westbound lanes, with the suspect driving eastbound a speeds above 70 miles per hour for eight and a half miles.

"One of them encountered him and tried to get his attention but he continued on. Eventually, another tropper was able to get him stopped. He pulled over, and then after the trooper got out of the car he continued traveling and the trooper tried to do a legal intervention, ram his vehicle to get him to stop. He eventually ran head on into another vehicle," said Lt. James McFadden of PSP Gibsonia.

Investigators have identified the suspect as 31-year-old Robert Walthour from Hopatcong, NJ.

All Walthour had to say to a Channel 11 camera as he sat in the back of a patrol car was, "Can I have a glass of water?"

Walthour was taken into custody. Police said he was taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol reading.

Following the incident, traffic was backed up between the Cranberry and Beaver Valley exits of the turnpike.

Authorities said at least three separate accidents were caused as a result of the wrong-way driver. Several ambulances were called to the scenes to assist, but it appears victims suffered only minor injuries.

State police said they are waiting to obtain a search warrant on Walthour's car.

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