TANNERSVILLE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - We're learning more about a bizarre highway crash involving an ATV. It happened around 4:45 Thursday evening, and left part of the busy Interstate 80 West in Monroe County shut down for hours.
A helicopter touched down on a horrific highway crash scene. A police pursuit ended with one man flown to the hospital in critical condition, while his helmet and mangled mess of metal lay behind.
"It''s heartbreaking because it affected more than just the person doing it," says Chief Kent Werkheiser, Pocono Township Police.
Pocono Township Police say it started when a passing ambulance crew spotted an ATV swerving through traffic on Route 611. An officer tried catching up with the rider, 25-year-old Alexander Sierra-Musse of Tobyhanna.
"[The officer] activated his lights and sirens, attempted to get the operator of the ATV to yield. He did not yield and a pursuit was initiated," Werkheiser explains.
Chief Werkheiser says the ATV zipped through Tannersville then cut through a parking lot and continued on Route 715 near the Crossings Outlets. Traffic was heavy and the officer lost sight of the rider.
"At that point, the pursuit was ended," Werkheiser adds.
Police say the ATV drove up a steep, grassy gully near an exit ramp then onto Interstate 80 West near Tannersville.
"So the bank itself is at a 40 degree angle. As he came up at the high rate of speed, like the witnesses say, he had no sight vision. He didn't know what was coming," he adds.
The driver of a pickup tried to slow down, but she couldn't dodge the ATV in time.
Werkheiser adds, "and she was traveling, minding her own business, and right in front of her this happens. So there was no chance."
The Chief says ATV's are not legal on township or state roads. He has a message for anyone who owns one.
"If you have one and have no place to ride it, you probably shouldn't have one," he warns.
Police say Sierra-Musse remains in critical condition, while the pickup driver suffered minor injuries. At this time, no charges have been filed.