A motorcyclist reached speeds of more than 130 mph before crashing twice on Route 30, the second collision propelling him into another vehicle and breaking his motorcycle in two pieces, according to East Hempfield Township police.
Albert T. Cheeks, 47, of Randallstown, Maryland, was charged with accidents involving personal injury, seven counts of recklessly endangering another person, accidents involving damage to an attended vehicle, two counts of driving under the influence and seven summary traffic violations.
Witnesses told investigators Cheeks was driving aggressively and recklessly around 1:05 p.m. on Sept. 3, weaving in and out of traffic by using the shoulder and driving in between lanes and reaching speeds of 130 mph before he sideswiped a vehicle and continued without stopping on Route 30 near the Running Pump Road overpass in East Hempfield Township, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The crash caused disabling damage to the vehicle, and debris from the collision then struck another vehicle Cheeks had illegally passed just moments before.
Cheeks then continued east along Route 30, continuing to illegally pass vehicles until he eventually rear-ended a minivan two minutes later as it was merging into another lane near the Marietta Avenue overpass, about half a mile down the highway, police said. The collision caused Cheeks to be thrown from his motorcycle and through the back window of the minivan.
The minivan’s 80-year-old driver was shaken by the crash, telling police she never saw Cheeks and believed she was clear to merge, according to the affidavit. The collision caused glass from the back of the van to spread all the way to the front of the vehicle.
Police found Cheeks’ motorcycle broken in two as a result of the crash.
Cheeks was taken to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital to be treated for serious injuries, where he told staff he had been drinking before a crash. A blood test revealed Cheeks had a BAC of 0.19% about an hour after the crash.
The drivers of each of the vehicles Cheeks struck reported minor injuries.
Route 30 eastbound was closed for about three and a half hours as the Lancaster County Crash Investigation Team conducted an investigation, according to a police news release.
A preliminary arraignment has been scheduled for Nov. 4 before Judge David Ashworth, court records show.