Man Dies in Crash Involving Williamsport Police Officer

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Investigators are not releasing many details about the crash that left a man from Williamsport dead.

This is what it looked like after a Williamsport police cruiser and another vehicle collided just before 7pm Sunday. A neighbor took this video after James Robinson's car hit a utility pole, crashed into this vacant house and burst into flames. Robinson died at the scene.

"By the time i got downstairs and outside here to see what was going on, the gas tank had already. The whole field was on fire. The car was on fire," Harry Blanchard said.

People in the neighborhood lost power.

"The first thing that went through my mind was how did it happen? How did the crash even happen," Daniel Forrest asked.

That is what investigators are trying to figure out. State police were back at the scene reconstructing the deadly crash on East Third and Railway Streets in Williamsport.

Williamsport police believe the officer involved in the deadly crash was on his way to help police with another crash involving the arrest of a drug suspect.

Police say Robinson had nothing to do with that situation.

James Robinson worked at Denny's here in Williamsport for the last couple of years. His coworkers were too upset to talk on camera but they tell Newswatch 16 Robinson was a good worker, a great friend and the kind of guy that everyone liked.

Harry Blanchard lives about 100 feet from where the crash happened. He and his wife Dawn say even though they didn't know James Robinson, it's going to take them a long time to get over what happened.

"You just never know when it's your time," Dawn said.

"Especially the helplessness. The helplessness? Yeah, not being able to do anything. To watch him just die," Harry said.

State police have not said what caused the deadly crash or who is at fault.  The Williamsport police officer involved in the wreck was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries. He was placed on administrative leave.


  • Amy Wittle

    Shame on you WNEP. You reduce the entire life of a loved and respected man to, “He worked at Denny’s.” Is this story about a great man who was killed, is it about a questionable move by a police officer or is it about a car accident? What reads like a traffic incident is really an obituary. It’s apparent where your priorities lie.

  • Mike

    The image of the wrecked cruiser in front of the road sign “Slow Down Save A Life” makes a powerful statement. This part of that road is near a huge drop that puts both lanes in a blind spot, then yourself in a complete blind spot when you reach bottom of the dip. It wouldn’t take much over the speed limit to put a small car airborne enough to loose control, be safe.

  • Sundown

    This is not the first time something like this happened, and it won’t be the last, people have no life except to bash others to make their pitiful lives seem more meaningful. So sad, too bad. It happens in war, friendly fire, civilian casualties, etc…It it were a friend or family member, they would be defending this police officer. Imagine how badly he feels? And soldiers, police officers NEED to come to terms with unfortunate events such as these..stuff happens..they need to able to separate and distance themselves from that which is beyond their control while somehow maintaining sympathy and empathy for those they serve and protect..we need to offer them the same..

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