(WBRE/WYOU) — A hit and run caused a chaotic scene on East Main Street in Plymouth Wednesday afternoon.
Chris Shaw of Hunlock Creek is facing several charges after police say he crashed into several other vehicles and then ran from the scene. He was eventually picked up at a nearby store. Eyewitness News spoke with residents who witnessed the crash along with the Plymouth Boro Fire Department chief after he is recovering from injuries.
“At that time I looked and he was trying to get away,” chief Brian Oppelt said.
Police say Shaw was driving northbound on Route 11 and caused a crash in front of Good Shepherd Polish National Catholic Church and struck an abandoned truck. Witnesses say he was then trying to escape after colliding with another vehicle.
Meanwhile, residents were trying to grab him out of the vehicle. A Plymouth woman watched everything from outside her home and stated how Shaw reacted.
“He wasn’t yelling. He was very calm. He was very calm. He just wanted to go. He didn’t want to stay here,” witness Marlisa Allen said.
A school bus was trying to drive by and eventually got away from the scene. That’s when the Plymouth Boro fire chief, Brian Oppelt, intervened and tried to take control of the steering wheel of the vehicle Shaw was operating while holding on outside the truck’s window. Oppelt was injured and let go of the steering wheel. Shaw continued down the road to the parking lot of Main Beverage.
“I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I didn’t expect that, you know. I didn’t know about the accident up the road yet so it was a pretty intense scene,” Main Beverage store clerk Mike Cipirani said.
Officers arrested Shaw in the Main Beverage parking lot. According to court papers, Shaw admitted to drinking before getting into his car. Chief Oppelt says he wouldn’t consider himself a hero, just someone doing his job.
“I didn’t do anything any other first responder wouldn’t do. Some of the people in the neighborhood are calling me a hero. I’m not a hero. We have a job to do. We all have a job to do,” Oppelt said.
Cipirani said police had Shaw at gunpoint before they finally arrested him. Shaw has now been charged with aggravated assault, resist of law enforcement and reckless driving.
Authorities told Eyewitness News that Shaw drove with just three wheels after leaving the crash.