Maryland Man On Marijuana Kills Woman, Injures Child During Police Pursuit In Pennsylvania

A Maryland man believed to be high on marijuana killed two people during a high-speed police pursuit in Pennsylvania, according to state police.

Christofer Pineda-Gasca
Christofer Pineda-Gasca Photo Credit: Scranton County Prison

A Pennsylvania state trooper attempted to stop a vehicle in Honey Brook Borough, Chester County with a stolen license plate around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 4, Trooper Kevin Kochka explained in a release the following evening.

The driver refused to stop and fled west onto Pennsylvania State Route 23— starting a police pursuit, according to the release.

Police continued the pursuit onto the 2700 block of Main Street in Caernarvon Township, Lancaster County where another vehicle attempted to turn left into the Conestoga Christian school parking lot— but it was struck by the fleeing vehicle causing it to "roll over and hit a utility pole before coming to rest on its roof," Kochka says.

The driver of the vehicle, Alicia Whisler, 32, of Mohnton, died as a result of her injuries and a 5-year-old girl was transported to Reading Hospital with minor injuries, according to the release.

The driver of the fleeing vehicle— Christofer Pineda-Gasca, 20, of North East, Maryland, was taken to Reading Hospital for minor injuries and blood draw for suspicion of DUI, and was subsequently arrested by Pennsylvania state police, Kochka says.

A “bud” of marijuana was seen by police in the driver’s side door pocket of Pineda-Gasca' vehicle, as well as a burnt, half-smoked marijuana roach, and a “thick stack” of US currency, according to an affidavit.

"After consultation with the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office, Pineda-Gasca has been charged with Homicide by vehicle, Homicide by vehicle while DUI, Accidents involving death or injury while not licensed, Fleeing, or attempting to elude, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Driving Under the Influence, Receiving Stolen Property and several other summary vehicle code violations," as stated in the release.

Police reported in an affidavit that Pineda-Gasca admitted to fleeing “because he was in fear of being arrested for DUI” and that he smoked marijuana.

He is being held in the Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $75,000 and his preliminary hearing has been scheduled before Magisterial District Judge Raymond S. Sheller at 9 a.m. on Apr. 13, according to his court docket.

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