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Police chase ends in Allegheny Twp. when car hits house

posted Jul 9, 2015, 7:45 PM by Joseph Gray

Two people and a police officer were injured Friday evening when police chased a car from Vandergrift to Allegheny Township that crashed into the living room of a group home.

Police said Joshua Aaron Lawhorn Taylor, 23, of Vandergrift fled on foot and surrendered to police after they surrounded him at the Hyde Park walking bridge. Police were working on charges after they arrested Taylor before at about 10:35 p.m.

Two residents who were in the group home at 1518 Hyde Park Road, owned by Family Services of Western Pennsylvania, received what appeared to be minor injuries when the Chevrolet Impala smashed through the ranch home's wall into the living room, according to Allegheny Township Chief John Fontaine.

One resident was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison while the other was treated at the scene.

Vandergrift Police Officer Joe Gray injured his leg during the foot pursuit, according to police.

The car sheared off a gas meter, rupturing a natural gas line that had to be shut off.

Residents in the group home were to be taken to another home for the night, according to police.

Shortly before 10 p.m., Taylor was driving on La Belle Vue Road in Vandergrift and was allegedly weaving and crossed the double lines toward an oncoming Vandergrift police car, according to Fontaine.

Police chased the suspect on the Vandergrift Bypass, to Leechburg Hill Road and then onto South Gosser Hill Road as they approached the Leechburg Bridge.

But the car was traveling too fast to negotiate the turn onto Hyde Park Road, the chief said, and drove through the group home's front yard and crashed into the building, Fontaine said.

Taylor allegedly got out of the car and fled on foot, but so did police, who were able to aim a Taser at Taylor, but he still kept running. The car chase lasted about 10 minutes and the foot pursuit about 15 minutes according to Fontaine.

About seven departments set up a perimeter to catch Taylor, who police say was found near the walking bridge, where he was surrounded by police and surrendered.

“There were enough police officers, and we were able to put in a coordinated effort,” Fontaine said.

Police brought him back to the scene so the eight officers who allegedly saw Taylor flee could identify him.

Assisting Vandergrift and Allegheny Township police were police from Apollo, Parks Township, Leechburg, West Leechburg and Lower Burrell's police dog and handler. Allegheny Township's Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 and Markle Volunteer Fire Department also assisted.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or

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