Williamsport Crusier Crash Victim Remembered as Musician, Friend

WILLIAMSPORT– The fiery crash on East Third Street last Sunday may have ended James Robinson’s life but it didn’t silence his voice.

That voice can be heard on hip hop tracks he recorded over the years with his friend Carl Gibbs.

“He liked performing in front of people, he was an entertainer,” Gibbs said.

The songs are old-school and full of fun, just like the man known as “Boomer.”

“Always smiling and laughing and joking, like if you’ve seen him with a smile on his face, you wouldn’t know it was a bad day for him,” Gibbs recalled.

Gibbs said when he worked with “Boomer” in his garage recording studio the hours would fly by. When he learned his friend had died, the first thing he did was pull out those precious CDs.

Like many residents of Williamsport, Gibbs is struggling to understand what went wrong last Sunday night.

The crash was the culmination of a chain of events that started with police pursuing a drug suspect in another part of the city. When that suspect crashed into a tree, Officer Jonathan Deprenda headed to help.

During the week Pennsylvania State Police have worked to reconstruct the moment Deprenda’s cruiser collided with Robinson’s car, sending it into a house and setting both on fire.

On Monday Williamsport police put out a statement saying that Deprenda was headed to help a rookie officer who had a suspect at gunpoint. It also asked that the public be patient with the Pennsylvania State Police investigation.

Despite that, some friends of the victim, and other members of the community say they don’t understand the pace of the investigation.

“Too slow, too slow, they found out clues, but all of a sudden now it is just a blank,” said Russell Scott.

“There is still a lot more that needs to be found out, there is really no need for that police officer to be flying down the road like that,” added Gibbs.

Despite the sudden and shocking way Robinson died Gibbs said his memories of Boomer are happy ones.

“Just when you would run into him he would be like, ‘Hey!’ He tried to use that sexy type of voice, ‘Hey!'” Gibbs says, acting out the moment and smiling at the memory.

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