Pennsylvania State Police

1 killed as Pa. state police crash into pickup truck in Philly

The wreck took place early on Friday, June 14, 2024, along Columbus Boulevard in the Old City neighborhood

NBC Universal, Inc.

A driver died as a Pennsylvania state police vehicle responding to an incident in Philadelphia's Old City neighborhood crashed into a pickup truck early Friday morning, officials said.

Léelo en español aquí.

Pennsylvania State Police said troopers were traveling south on Columbus Boulevard near the Race Street Pier around 1:30 a.m. when they collided with a Mazda pickup truck.

"A state trooper was coming down -- going 65, 75 mph -- they were chasing somebody," security guard Rashid Izzard -- who witnessed the crash -- said. "The truck turned off of this street right here and state trooper ran straight into him -- the truck flipped over. The state trooper ran straight into the pole... it's bad."

A state police spokesperson said, however, that the troopers were assisting with another incident and that reports that they were involved in a pursuit at the time of the crash are "incorrect."

The spokesperson also said the driver of the pickup truck -- that wasn't involved in the incident the troopers were responding to -- made an illegal left turn from the northbound lanes of Columbus Boulevard heading toward Race Street and was then in the path of the oncoming troopers.

"The troopers were unable to avoid the collision and struck the Mazda on its passenger side," the spokesperson wrote.

The driver of that pickup truck -- who was the only person inside the vehicle -- died, investigators said.

Witness video showed a trooper hobbling out of the cruiser -- its air bags deployed -- and being helped from the wreck by other troopers. A second trooper could be seen getting out of the driver's side of the cruiser. State police said both troopers were taken to Jefferson Hospital for treatment and later released.

"You should have heard it though. It was like, oh man, like a bomb," Rashid Izzard described the moment of the crash while he was making security checks along the roadway.

Troopers ended up stopping the car they were initially responding to near 2nd and Race streets, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Two people in that car were arrested, Philadelphia police said. It was unclear what charges they could face.

A stretch of Columbus Boulevard was blocked for hours as police investigated the deadly wreck.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Contact Us