Officer In Deadly Crash Named

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WILLIAMSPORT — State police in Lycoming County have now released the name of the Williamsport police officer involved in this deadly crash over the weekend.

Officials say Officer Jonathan Deprenda was responding to help another officer with an emergency in the city around 7 p.m. Sunday when his police cruiser collided with a car on East Third Street.

The car hit a utility pole and house before bursting into flames, killing the driver, James Robinson, 42, from Williamsport.

Officer Deprenda is on administrative leave while the deadly crash is investigated.

jonathan deprenda mug


  • truthseeker

    I absolutely agree with BigDaddy4. Let us remember that this is the same officer that shot at a vehicle in june that was also involved in a high speed chase. I don’t recall of an officer shooting at a vehicle but I guess there is always a first time for everything. I’m not sure that he is all that inexperienced, anyone that is even remotely familiar with Third Street knows there is nowhere to pull to the right not to mention the infamous blind dip in the road. The police still have not said that lights and sirens we used most likely because they were not! This deparment has no leadership, discipline or direction, the young guns run rampant and the seasoned cops are disrespected by these snot nose cowboys. Police departments are to be run like the military not a classroom of ADD kindergartners! That is why this incident occurred! Way understaffed, questionable retention of training and poor leadership!

  • BigDaddy4

    “GoodPeople”- yes this was tragic and PLEASE DO NOT down play what has occured. We have a herion dealer being chased, he wrecks (thank God he hurt no one), is taken into custody, AND THEN….we have a young, inexperienced officer across town who decides to beat feet to assist. Question- was he told to respond or did he just use his own judgement? I am not sure if this city can afford “cowboy’s.” The reason mum is the word is because NOTHING is right about what happened on East Third Street last Sunday!

  • keith

    everyone wants to hammer on the officer but loose track of the events at hand. Had the person being chased had not committed the crime being chased for none of the following events would have happened. i think the criminal caused it and should be charged accordingly. nobody seems to think about all the lives he put in jepordy. its sad that somebody died but had the criminal ran over your kid you would be saying where were the police and why didnt they stop him. i’ve seen people die in accidents because someone in hurry to get to the mall!

    • Bhipp

      That very evening my wife and I were walking in front of Brandon Park when three police vehicles came flying into the the intersection from Hepburn St. The first slid sideways around the corner and darted in through park entrance. The second was forced to slam on his brakes as he attempted the same maneuver to avoid slamming broadside into a vehicle coming north on Market St. that was in NO WAY able to see the high speed police vehicle entering that dangerous intersection. And the third, an unmarked vehicle except for the lights and siren, actually appeared to come almost to a stop before entering the busy intersection and continuing north on Market. We had just crossed in front of the entrance on foot and would not have been able to get out of the way of the first cruiser and he would most likely not have seen us until it was too late. I was a bit concerned to say the least!

  • Eric

    There’s no excuse to be driving fast enough to hit another car, send it into a building and have it burst into flames. If there was a valid emergency that justified that kind of speed we would have heard it by now. The rest of us would be facing vehicular homicide charges. It is time to get these cowboys in check.

  • Sam

    Please do not blame the officer. Hopefully we learned from this horrible incident and we and our police will no longer engage in high speed chases except for the most dire of situations.

    • Merl

      Why shouldn’t we blame the man who was driving at a high rate of speed on city streets and rear ended another car killing the other driver?

  • Ironman

    The comment regarding moving to right is the law, but only when the cruiser lights AND siren are enabled. I know the accident scene well, I’ve lived here my entire life. There is nowhere to move off to the right side at all. It’s all curbside bordering I180 interstate.

  • Ron Gipson

    if you must know the cops -fire and rescue vehicles are to follow posted speed limits just like the rest of us.light and sirens are used to aid in there getting to where they need to be..we are to go to the right..cops are under the impression they don’t have to follow a law that they pull us over for and applies to them as well.

  • truthseeker

    According to the Sun Gazette first responders said that the officer tried to assist but was driven back by flames then an eye witness reported that officer never tried to assist the civilian driver, which is it? Why wasn’t the on board fire extinguisher that should have been standard equipment in the cruiser utilized? Just how fast was that cruiser moving on city streets? What is police policy on pursuits that he was not technically involved in considering the physical distance between the two crashes? An overhaul of that department needs to be done from the top down. The police deparment began to decline the day that Campana hired Foresman.

  • Btt McGee

    Yes the officer is home and didn’t lose his life, but he may as well have he has to live with knowing he killed a man the rest of his life. I know cops think they are above the law but everyone makes mistakes. I send my prayers to both the families.

  • yourNOTtheonetojudge

    You All should be ashamed of yourselves! I can tell you right now Boomer would NEVER speak like any of you are! First of all I’m sure each and every one of you have skeletons in your closets! Your NOT perfect as God is the only one anyone has to answer to so till his time comes to answer to God O mighty maybe you should think before you speak and quit making more drama for all parties involved and let this family mourn in peace! Have respect for others even if you don’t respect yourself!

  • helpifucan

    He is on administrative leave “with” pay. Isn’t it ironic that the person being pursued was supposedly, among other things listed, traveling at high rates of speed but yet we still don’t know what the rush was for above officer traveling just as fast, without sirens or lights. Of course there will be an excuse and I also question why the last line of the chief’s statement in the Sun-Gazette was to “explain” it is customary for drivers to pull over, to the right, when an officer is approaching from behind. Duh,,,, like we don’t know that??? Is he trying to insinuate that something else was done other than that which caused the accident. Smokescreens!!!

    • nelly101

      I was told that the guy that died was on the wrong side of the street he passed another car and that could be why the cop hit him but no one knows of what happened just the people that was right there at the time

  • John Smith

    This photo has been altered. I know where the crash site is and that sign is not that close. Nice how the media manipulates to suit their purpose

    • nelly101

      no that pic has not been altered its just how it was taken duh……. how about u learn a few things about taking pics before u go running ur mouth

      • John Smith

        Dude this picture is manipulated! Drive down Third St. In this photo the save a life sign is next to the highway sign and big. In reality, the highway sign is first then the save a life sign down the road from that.

  • rene'

    Joe, that sign isn’t just on the pic….it is an actual sign in Williamsport right there where the cruiser came to rest….if u r from there then u know that for a fact….no one posted that pic with that sign as a (prop) it is actually right there….

  • Mr. Papageorgio

    Another example of an above the law attitude for law enforcement. Too many times cops drive too fast and kill the innocent and there are laws in place to protect them. If they kill someone when they are preforming their duties then they are protected from prosecution. The only recourse is that the family sue them personally, but that is going to be hard to do. Cops need to be held to the same standard for driving on our roads as the normal everyday citizen.

  • Jonathan Daddario

    another officer telling everyone else to slow down and he cant figure out how to drive yet either. then the state puts up the signs yet! thats just comical! slowdown save a life haha

    • Stephenie Gray

      that sign has been there for years and I agree with some of the others if you are not from here and were not there when it happened then kindly keep your mouth shut. YOU have no idea what happened to cause this accident. but im sure that if any of you called 911 then you would want the cops there asap. I guess that would be ok for them to speed then

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