Man Charged After Leading Police on Chase, Causing Crash that Injured Two

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- Jose Mendez, 21 of Nanticoke, is locked up after troopers say he led them on a chase near Wilkes-Barre.

Two people were hurt in the crash that ended the chase.

Newswatch 16 spoke to a witness of the chase who says he's surprised more people were not hurt.

Viewer photos sent to Newswatch 16 showed mangled cars and state police cruisers on East Main Street in Wilkes-Barre

State police say this was the scene early Friday afternoon after the driver of the gray colored Acura, Jose Mendez, led troopers on a chase that started on Interstate 81 near Ashley.

A witness says they saw Mendez speeding away from police on the shoulder on 81 northbound before he got off the interstate near the Bear Creek exit.

"If he moved seven inches to the left he would have taken out about 20 cars. I mean he was coming up the exit ramp fast," said John Piazza.

Piazza says he first saw the chase in his rearview mirror, then moved over to give the cars room.

"I'm glad that all those people that were on that highway yesterday made it through safe because it was a bad situation, it could have been a lot worse ugly," said Piazza.

Piazza says he didn't realize until later, when he saw pictures like this on Facebook, that it did get ugly.

Police say the chase ended after Mendez crashed into a red Toyota.

This car was being driven by Gerald Mosley, 72 of bear creek township. At last check, officials at Geisinger Wyoming Valley says he is listed in serious condition.

"That's bad. You're just out minding your own business and something like that happens," Piazza said. "It's terrible. I mean people this day in age they're not worried about nothing. It's a bad time. Somebody like that, taking somebody else's life in jeopardy."

Troopers say the chase started when they tried to pull Mendez over for traffic and equipment violations.

Mendez is locked up on $50,000 bail.

He is facing charges including fleeing, aggravated assault, recklessly dangering another person and DUI in Luzerne County.

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