County honors Westmoreland sheriff’s deputies for arrest |

County honors Westmoreland sheriff’s deputies for arrest

Rich Cholodofsky

Westmoreland deputy sheriffs were honored this week by county commissioners for their role in the arrest of a suspected drug dealer following a three-mile vehicle chase last month in North Huntingdon.

Deputies John Dixon, Rob Orbin and Frank Neal ; Sgt. Irvin Shipley and Lt. Jesse Salandro assisted police during a vehicle stop on Jan. 25 along Route 30, when a motorist tossed 50 bricks of suspected heroin out of a car window before he jumped from it in an attempt to avoid capture.

Sheriff Jonathan Held said Dixon saw the car was operating without a driver, jumped into the empty vehicle as it sped down the road, and was able to bring it to a stop.

Police said they first attempted to make a traffic stop after they saw a red Camaro being driven erratically in the eastbound lanes along Route 30. The driver sped away and led police on a three-mile chase before abandoning the car near Jacktown Hill.

Commissioners praised the deputies’ quick-thinking to avoid a potentially life-saving crash.

“When push comes to shove, it’s great to see people stand up and they did that,” Commissioner Charles Anderson said.

The driver was arrested and charged with drug offenses, reckless endangerment and fleeing and attempting to elude police.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]