High-speed chase from Cecil County to Baltimore leaves five injured Driver refuses to pay toll at Perryville

October 29, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A man who refused to pay a toll in Cecil County led police on a 35-mile high-speed chase to Baltimore yesterday morning, causing four accidents and leaving five people -- including a 4-week-old baby and two state troopers -- injured.

None of the injuries was serious, but police said the 20-year-old suspect was driving a pickup truck stolen in Pennsylvania. Police said speeds during the chase peaked at 85 mph on Interstate 95.

Robert Theodore Buck III of Easton, Pa., was charged last night with multiple traffic charges in Cecil and Harford counties and in Baltimore. He also faces charges of toll evasion, theft, assault and attempted murder.

Thomas Freeburger, a spokesman for the Maryland Toll Facilities Police, said the 1976 Chevy custom pickup truck stopped about 9:30 a.m. at a toll booth at the Hatem Memorial Bridge in Perryville, which takes U.S. 40 over the Susquehanna River.

Mr. Buck refused to pay the toll, and an attendant told him to pull off to the side for help, Mr. Freeburger said. The man complied but took off when a police officer approached, the spokesman said.

One toll facilities police car followed the pickup truck north on U.S. 222 to southbound I-95, where five state police cruisers joined the chase.

Trooper Francis Childress of the Westminster barracks attempted to slow the truck by setting up a rolling road block near the Maryland House Service Area in Aberdeen. But the driver rammed the back of the cruiser, causing the first accident, according to a state police spokesman.

A few minutes later, near the Baltimore Beltway, Trooper Mark Williams of the JFK barracks attempted the same maneuver and again was rammed in the back, the spokesman said. Both troopers were taken to the Francis Scott Key Medical Center in Baltimore, where they were treated and released.

Mr. Freeburger said the chase continued onto Interstate 895, the Harbor Tunnel Thruway, where the pickup truck rear-ended a car near Pulaski Highway. The car was driven by Heidi Meginnes, whose 4-week-old daughter, Savanah, suffered minor injuries and was being held for observation last night at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The truck continued south, where it collided with a car near O'Donnell Street about 9:50 a.m., Mr. Freeburger said. Two elderly people in that car suffered minor injuries.

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