JENKINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Pennsylvania State Police say a New York woman led troopers on a chase on Interstate 81 Monday morning.
According to a criminal complaint, on Monday just after 11:00 a.m., troopers saw a woman in a dark-colored Chevrolet truck on I-81 southbound near mile marker 174, drifting in and out of the roadway and sideswiping a tractor-trailer with the driver’s side of the Chevrolet she was driving.
As the complaint reads, the woman actively ignored PSP lights and sirens and continued south on I-81 swerving in and out of both lanes of traffic several times, between 40-70mph, causing additional units to assist with the chase.
Troopers say the woman stayed on I-81 south until she came to a stop near MM 159.4.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Jessica Marie Smith-Fordyce of Syracuse, New York, who appeared to be operating the truck under the influence of a controlled substance, state troopers said.
PSP says Smith-Fordyce participated in field sobriety tests and appeared to be under the influence of multiple substances. When troopers asked her if she knew her current location, she allegedly replied, “New York State Thruway.”
According to the complaint, Smith-Fordyce was then arrested and taken into custody for suspicion of DUI. Troopers say Smith-Fordyce refused to submit to a blood test.
Smith-Fordyce was arraigned on Monday and her bail was set at $5,000 monetary. Unable to post bail, she was remanded to the Luzerne County Prison.
Smith-Fordyce faces charges of DUI: controlled substance, fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, obstruction, and numerous citations.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 1 at 8:30 a.m.