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At Least 16 Injured As Police Chase Stolen Bus

January 4, 1989

HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. (AP) _ A man who led police on a two-state chase in a stolen bus, ramming cars and injuring 15 people, was hospitalized under guard today, and transit officials said they would probably tighten security at depots.

Glen A. Barhight, 35, of Croydon was arraigned in his hospital bed Tuesday on 16 charges, including aggravated assault, recklessly endangering, receiving stolen property and causing a catastrophe.

The nearly hourlong chase, which began north of Philadelphia and briefly extended into New Jersey, ended when the bus slammed into a tree northwest of Philadelphia, said Lower Moreland Police Chief Frank Amabile.

″Thank God for that tree,″ said Richard Campbell, who was sleeping in a second-floor apartment above a boutique when the bus hit outside.

The bus was the second belonging to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to be stolen in the past week. On Saturday, an unidentified person took a bus from a depot, crashed into a dozen parked cars and fled. No one was injured.

SEPTA will probably speed up plans to fence in ″problem″ depots, said Howard Patton, chief of the authority’s transit police.

Barhight’s attorney, Robert V. McGuckin, said his client was ″a rather disturbed fellow″ who claimed to hear voices and had tried suicide at least twice.

A spokeswoman at Abington Memorial Hospital said Barhight was in stable condition with a graze wound to his head, abdominal injuries and cuts to an arm.

A state trooper fired a shotgun at the bus during the chase, according to police. But Amabile said Barhight wasn’t hit.

Besides Barhight, those injured were a police officer hit by the bus at a police roadblock midway through the chase, and 14 occupants of cars struck by the bus.

The officer and six of the others were hospitalized. None was seriously hurt.

″It was like something from a horror movie,″ said Mary Beach, who happened on more than half a dozen wrecked cars on her way to work. People were walking around dazed, and others lay on the pavement, she said.

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