Charges detailed against trucker

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Thomas L. McNeal, 42, Pototoc, Miss., was arrested Dec. 20 on 32 charges stemming from a multi-state police chase that ended near Greencastle. NcNeal’s 1998 Freightliner TT crashed into the median at exit 5 at 8:55 a.m. and he was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police. Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham set bail at $250,000.

A PSP officer on routine patrol on Route 16 in Greencastle was dispatched to I-81 at State Line about an active pursuit. Maryland State Police were following a purple tractor-trailer which had had numerous hit and runs in West Virginia and Maryland. The Pennsylvania officer saw 15 marked and unmarked police cars from West Virginia and Maryland involved in the chase. A second PSP officer deployed stop sticks which McNeal ran over. From that point, he weaved over the median three times at 35 miles per hour. The front tires were gone and the driver was barely able to keep control of the vehicle, police reported.

When the truck crashed in Greencastle, one officer broke the driver’s side window and the arresting officer deployed a taser to McNeal’s chest. McNeal tried to get into the sleeping compartment so a K-9 was sent in. Officers were then able to arrest him.

During a search, a white powdery substance was found on McNeal, as well as a plastic straw. Police said he had glassy eyes, failed to respond to commands and was generally incoherent. He allegedly told them he had taken methamphetamines. McNeal was taken to Chambersburg Hospital for a drug test.