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Sheriff: Smithton area man flees deputies serving warrant, crashes car

October 4, 2018

Multiple police units responded Wednesday to the Smithton area off of Interstate 70 after a man fled Westmoreland County sheriff’s deputies attempting to serve two arrest warrants.

The incident reportedly began in the vicinity of Motordrome Road in South Huntingdon Township before 2 p.m., when deputies arrived with an arrest warrant for James Hayes, 38, and Jillian Richter, no age available.

“The suspect, Mr. Hayes, was in a car and fled with a female companion (Richter),” Sheriff Jon Held said.

The couple drove away, and led police on a high-speed chase on Motordrome and Matty roads. The couple’s vehicle crashed in a wooded area in the vicinity of Dutch Hollow Road. The couple then ran, according to authorities. They have not been found.

A state police helicopter assisted in the search. State police in Belle Vernon were called in to assist the sheriff’s department.

Authorities said Hayes initially was wanted on a drug-related warrant. Richter was wanted for hindering apprehension of a fugitive.

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