Driver dead after police chase involving a tractor trailer cab

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HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A tense standoff in Hazleton is over. The man who led police on a high-speed chase in a tractor trailer cab is dead.

Police have released the name of the suspect as Wade Russel Meisberger, 48-years-old from Whiteland, Indiana.

According to a report from police, the suspect was the passenger inside the semi who took over the vehicle while the driver was out of the cab during a traffic stop conducted by US Marshals. The suspect was initially wanted for a homicide probation violation.

A neighborhood was on lockdown all evening as law enforcement negotiated with an armed individual in the cab of a tractor trailer. Now the standoff is over and the man is dead.

“In dealing with this police incident it is now over. The actor inside the cab is now deceased, and more information will be put out when available,” Trooper Anthony Petroski said.

Pennsylvania State Police Hazleton and Frackville were involved in a pursuit that began in Schuylkill County.

“I was on South Poplar, he came back again…he almost hit me that time, my car started rocking — that’s how close he was…then a bunch of cops,” said witness Tyler Memis.

It ended behind the Hazleton Housing Authority after a long standoff with police.

“We had an armed individual inside the cab of a tractor trailer, just the cab the trailer was not attached,” Petroski said.

Trooper say the trailer detached during the chase. Law enforcement surrounded the cab behind the housing authority and made numerous attempts to get the man to come out. Troopers brought in a battering ram and called in the Special Emergency Response Team.

After 7 p.m., a trooper announced shots were fired and urged everyone to move to a safer location. Shortly after 9 p.m., troopers announced the standoff had come to an end.

We still don’t know the person’s identity or the reason for the chase. The investigation is ongoing and troopers say more details should be available Tuesday.


Video obtained by Eyewitness News shows police in pursuit of a tractor trailer cab Monday afternoon on Market Street in Kelayres, Schuylkill County.

At this time a truck matching that description is located in a lot near the Beech Street playground in Hazleton and there is a heavy police presence in the area.

Below is video sent to Eyewitness News by Justin Miller as the truck passed his vehicle on Route 424 near South Poplar Street.

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