Close Call for Police Officer

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TAYLOR, Pa. -- A police officer in Lackawanna County had a close call Tuesday afternoon when a driver came speeding at his parked patrol car.

Now, officers in two states are looking for that driver.

There are some dents and some dirt on the front bumper of a Taylor Police patrol car, but it could have been much worse. An officer was parked on the side of Keyser Avenue in the borough when he saw something coming at him.

"The officer just happened to pick his head up and look in the rearview mirror and the car was within feet of striking our police car," said Taylor Police Chief Steve Derenick.

Chief Derenick says a blue minivan came speeding up the shoulder of Keyser Avenue.

Luckily, Officer Matthew Derenick, the chief's son, had his patrol car in drive and he was able to swerve out of the way just in time.

"I think it saved his life, I really do," the chief said. "You see it all the time, the warning lights were on, on the police car. I don't think it was someone just not paying attention or on a cell phone. We're treating it as a deliberate act."

By the time Taylor police called 911 to report the near collision, 911 operators in Susquehanna County were getting calls about the blue minivan weaving through traffic on the interstate.

"That was within 10 minutes, from Taylor to Susquehanna County, this van was already on (Interstate) 81," said the chief.

Taylor police say state troopers in Susquehanna County and sheriffs on the New York state line are looking for that blue minivan. If the driver is caught, he will likely face felony charges.

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