On Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 8:01 a.m., Harrisburg Police conducted a traffic stop on N. 6th at Woodbine Street on a black 2018 Honda Civic occupied by 28-year-old John M. Barber for an expired registration. Barber provided his PennDot ID card and 2 registration cards.
After several minutes, Officers asked Barber to shut off his vehicle. Barber instead accelerated away from the stop with an Officer hanging onto the doorframe of the vehicle. The Officer was able to separate himself from Barber’s vehicle without injury.
Officers returned to their vehicles to pursue Barber, but the Officers were immediately advised by a supervisor to terminate the pursuit. Officers turned off their emergency equipment and stop their vehicles on N. 6th at Maclay Streets as the vehicle continued southbound on N. 6th Street at a high rate of speed.
County dispatch received a call at 8:07 a.m. from the fire station located at 1820 N 6th Street advising that a vehicle was traveling south on N 6th Street at a very high rate of speed as one of their fire trucks was leaving the station to respond to a fire alarm call.
At 8:08 a.m., County Dispatch received a call from Capitol Police advising of a serious crash involving 2 vehicles, one of which contained a family of 6, with ejection at Commonwealth & Forster Streets.
Harrisburg Police Officers arrived on scene and determined that the vehicle that fled from the traffic stop was the same vehicle involved in the crash. Barber went through a red light at N. 6th and Forster Street and struck a pickup that contained a family that was on their way to the Farm Show. Barber’s vehicle struck the pickup with such force that it flipped and came to a rest on its roof.
Barber sustained serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital where he remains in police custody. The operator of the pickup sustained serious life-threatening injuries. The passengers, 2 adults and 3 children were taken to a local hospital for minor to moderate injuries. The children are 3-years-old (twins) and a 13-year-old.
Barber was wanted on a parole warrant for absconding and had drugs in the vehicle.
The Traffic Safety Unit is continuing the investigation. Charges for Barber are pending.