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Update: Man dies after fleeing from police in 2-vehicle crash on I-81 in Dauphin County

Police have identified the driver killed in last Friday's crash as Christopher Robert Bower, 35, of Lancaster County.
Credit: 511PA

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Update, 3:30 p.m. (August 16): Police have identified the driver killed in last Friday's crash as Christopher Robert Bower, 35, of Lancaster County.

A review of Bower's driver history determined his license was under suspension until 2025 and there were multiple active warrants for his arrest, according to Lower Paxton Township Police.

The warrants of arrest were for the following: 

  • Failure to Appear for a Theft by Deception/False Impression 
  • DUI-controlled substance 
  • Synthetic Narcotic Sales 

Bower also had numerous violations on his driving record, including speeding, driving under a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, and DUI involving a controlled substance, police say.

He also had multiple previous charges for forgery, theft, receiving stolen property, retail theft, burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, access device fraud, illegal possession of a firearm, and DUI, among others, according to police.

The cause of last Friday's crash remains under investigation, and an autopsy on Bower is scheduled for Tuesday, police say.

Update (Aug. 14): The Lower Paxton Township Police Department released more details about the crash on I-81 that resulted in the death of one man.

On Friday, around 6:50 p.m., an officer positioned on the median on North Mountain Road at Allentown Boulevard, noticed a black Dodge Caliber with an expired inspection sticker. When the officer attempted a traffic stop the SUV fled, reaching speeds over 100 mph on I-81 south, according to police. 

A few minutes into the chase, the driver of the SUV maneuvered the vehicle onto I-81 north and the officer was unable to follow him.

Shortly after, another officer reported the SUV had just crashed with a tractor-trailer. Emergency personnel arrived on the scene and pulled the driver out of the vehicle that was starting to catch on fire. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was taken to the hospital to be evaluated for minor injures, police said.

More information is expected to be released on Monday.

Update (10:05 p.m.) A man died after fleeing from police in the crash on I-81 on Friday evening, according to the Dauphin County district attorney.

Officials said the man, who was a wanted person, immediately fled from police after an attempted traffic stop. He then apparently crashed into a truck after evading police.

The Dauphin County district attorney says they are still examining the case, but only one person died.

Previous:

The Dauphin County Coroner's Office was notified after a two-vehicle crash on I-81 Friday evening, according to emergency dispatch.

Dispatch said the crash occurred shortly before 7 p.m. on Mountain Road involving a tractor-trailer and SUV, dispatch said.

The entrance ramps from I-81 to Mountain Road are closed, according to officials.

There is no word on the cause of the crash.

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