Pa. Police Close Crash Case That Injured Officer

Police have closed the search for the unknown driver who played a role in a catastrophic car crash that likely ended the career of an Eastern Adams Regional Police officer.


Police have closed the search for the unknown driver who played a role in a catastrophic car crash that likely ended the career of an Eastern Adams Regional Police officer.  

Richard Phillips, a 12-year veteran with the department, was pursuing what witnesses identified as a small red car through the intersection of routes 30 and 94 at Cross Keys when he collided with a tractor-trailer.

Phillips suffered severe neurological damage, broken bones in his arms and legs, and might never work as a police officer again.

It's been almost two years since the crash, and in a Monday announcement, state police said they are closing their investigation after exhausting all leads into the identity of the driver. The investigation can be reopened if new information surfaces, according to state police spokeswoman Trooper Michele Davis. But for now, at least, police are no longer actively searching for the driver.

Five months ago, Phillips and his wife April filed a lawsuit against the tractor-trailer driver Robert Pyles and the company for which he was driving, H.M. Kelly Inc., of New Oxford. The suit states Pyles failed to yield to the patrol car as he approached the intersection.

April Phillips has said the intent was not to sue the driver, but to investigate the mounting of a computer system in the police car that broke loose during the accident, causing the most serious injuries. But as her attorney investigated the crash, he could not obtain the necessary information from the trucker's attorney and was forced to file suit, according to April Phillips.

The trucking company and trucker's attorney have denied the claims made in the complaint about the accident being Pyles' fault. They have denied all allegations of negligence, and demanded proof to be presented at the time of a potential trial.

April Phillips said she and her husband were glad to hear that the investigation is finally over. She said Rick has been spending more time with family and friends. The Phillips have made the best of the situation, she added.

Hopefully, she continued, the driver that Phillips was pursuing will eventually come forward.

"It is what it is," April Phillips said. "You just have to keep going forward."

HOW TO HELP:

The Pennsylvania State Police has closed its investigation into a car crash that severely injured Eastern Adams Regional Police Officer Richard Phillips without identifying the driver who Phillips was chasing.

But police will continue to accept tips and might reopen the investigation if new information surfaces.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact the state police at (717) 334-8111. The Adams County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information about the incident. Contact Crime Stoppers at (717) 334-8057.

Reporter Jacqueline Palochko contributed to this story.

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