Man charged with DUI, fleeing police

A Warriors Mark man who led state troopers on high-speed chase before wrecking his SUV in October is now behind bars.

Benjamin C. Wrye, 30, of 2175 Pennington Road, was arraigned Tuesday morning on charges of felony fleeing and misdemeanor counts of DUI and recklessly endangering another person stemming from a chase on Oct. 6 along Interstate 99 and Route 350 in northern Blair County.

Wrye was allegedly driving 66 mph on Old Route 220 near the Grazierville entrance to I-99 when he passed a state trooper using radar.

According to the charges, it was just before

8 p.m. when Wrye, who was driving a silver 2004 Chevrolet Blazer, fled as the trooper tried to pull him over. Police indicated that Wrye turned onto I-99 and headed north, hitting speeds of more than 100 mph. At the Tyrone exit, Wrye abruptly swerved from the right lane and crossed the left lane onto the exit ramp before he swerved back across the highway into the right lane, cutting off several vehicles, police noted.

Wrye then used the berm to pass a tractor-trailer and ultimately exited I-99 at Bald Eagle. Police said Wrye failed to stop at the bottom of the exit ramp and headed north on Route 350. After driving through the Bald Eagle intersection, Wrye continued north, passing vehicles in a no-passing zone before he abruptly turned onto Stahl’s Lane.

It was on Stahl’s Lane that the pursuing trooper lost sight of the silver SUV. After ending the pursuit, the trooper turned off Route 350 onto a lane and encountered a set of headlights coming toward him. The headlights were from the silver SUV, and police said Wrye tried to get away by driving through a yard and then through a field, back onto Stahl’s Lane and then Route 350.

Wrye drove south and quickly pulled into a private driveway as the pursuing trooper remained on Route 350. Police said Wrye drove in circles through the yards of two homes as he tried to find a way back onto the main road. By then, another trooper arrived and drove up the driveway to keep Wrye from getting back onto Route 350.

Police said Wrye drove at the trooper’s vehicle and forced the officer to evade Wrye’s SUV. The trooper struck a wooden post, causing about $1,400 in damage to his vehicle and Wrye, while trying to drive back onto Route 350, got his SUV stuck in a ditch.

Wrye was arrested at the scene and taken to Tyrone Regional Hospital for a blood test. He was wanted on outstanding warrants in Huntingdon County and was lodged in Blair County Prison.

On Tuesday, Wrye was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller, who set bail at $25,000 cash. Along with the felony and misdemeanor charges, Wrye also is facing 10 traffic citations, including reckless driving.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Tuesday in Tyrone District Court.

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