Chase Ends as Driver Crashes into His Own House

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WEST HAZLETON -- A police chase led to a driver crashing into his own house Tuesday morning in Luzerne County.

There were two separate high-speed chases that involved several police departments. The second chase ended in West Hazleton on Allen Street on the driver's front porch.

The first chase started Tuesday morning in Butler Township after police say Jeffrey Kehler violated probation. Butler Township, Hazleton, West Hazleton and Sugarloaf police were all involved in the chase but they lost Kehler on Route 309.

A short time later, Hazelton police spotted the car near Lehigh Valley Hospital and that's when the second chase began.

Police say when he turned onto Allen Street in West Hazleton they believe he sped up before crashing into the front of his own house.

Kehler was led into Hazleton police headquarters Tuesday afternoon to face charges related to the two high-speed chases.

He had to be treated at a hospital after the crash.

Jessica Rodriguez's family owns the property and rents to the mother of Kehler's girlfriend. She says all three live in the home.

"Her family is who we've had problems with. At least the neighbors would say that they fight a lot, the daughter and the boyfriend."

In April, police were called to this same home after an infant belonging to Kehler and his girlfriend was found dead, lying face down in the bed.

Kehler was doing CPR on the baby when police arrived.

According to court papers, drug paraphernalia and heroin packaging materials were found in the home where the baby died.

"The loss of their baby put a really bad thing on their family. I know it feels bad when you lose a kid so maybe that has them going a bit A.W.O.L.," said Rodriguez.

This time, police say Kehler led them on two chases.

He was initially wanted for violating probation but he was able to get away. The second chase started a short time later when his car was spotted in Hazleton.

"Saw two Hazleton officers, thought they were pursuing him when they were not in the beginning. Then, the officer sees that this is happening, and he creates that pursuit," said Hazleton Police Chief Jerry Speziale

Around 10 a.m., Kehler crashed into the home in West Hazleton.

Several other police departments were involved in the pursuit, including West Hazleton.

"The time of day, the people that were on the roadway, we went through a construction zone, he obviously had no care or disregard for anyone else except himself at that time," said West Hazleton Police Chief Brian Buglio.

Kehler is facing multiple charges including eluding, which is a felony.


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