By Steve Beck and Jenn Bernstein
MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A bank robbery suspect that eluded police and drove on the wrong side of the road slammed into two cars in Bucks County Friday, seriously injuring at least one person.
The incident began shortly after 11 a.m. on Friday, when police received a call that an armed suspect had robbed the First Federal of Bucks County bank on Highland Park Way in Levittown. Police say he parked across the street at a shopping center, left on foot, then got into his vehicle.
“At some point, the driver took off at a high rate of speed onto Oxford Valley Road heading north, and he turned onto South Bucks Town Road…we had reports of him fishtailing. At some point on South Bucks Town Road, he crossed into a grassy medium…and probably lost control and went into oncoming traffic,” explains Lt. John Michniewicz, of the Middletown Township Police Department.
Police were immediately on the scene and found the alleged bank robber crawling out of his vehicle. He did have a firearm in his possession, and cash, presumably from the bank, was recovered at the scene. At this time, the bank is calculating how much the suspect stole.
“It was a pretty horrific scene. It appeared to me to be a head on collision between his car and the other vehicles,” Lt. Michniewicz says.The suspect hit two cars when he crashed, a Mercedes and a Toyota Corolla, each of which had a driver inside. The driver of the Mercedes, identified as well-known area lawyer John Kerrigan, was rushed to St. Mary Medical Center with serious injuries.
Kerrigan’s office is right near the crash scene. His administrative assistant, Nichola Laich, said he just left work.
“It was only five to ten minutes since he had left when we got the message that he had been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident,” said Laich. “Very difficult to hear.”
Kerrigan has been practicing law for forty years. He’s a well known criminal defense attorney. Kerrigan has a wife, two children, and a grandson. Laich did visit him in the hospital since the accident Friday afternoon.
“He was in good spirits and was quiet aware of everything that was going,” said Laich.
She tells Eyewitness News they were still assessing his injuries. Saint Mary’s Hospital reports him in serious condition.
The other driver is also said to be in the hospital.
Police say the bank robber was likewise taken to St. Mary, where he is undergoing surgery. Officers did not release word on his condition and said they are working to confirm his identity and determine whether or not he had prior convictions.
“There’s an officer at the hospital now standing by, waiting to get the updated information on him. At this point, it depends on whether he is medically released or admitted to the hospital. If he’s medically released, he’ll be taken into custody,” Lt. Michniewicz says.
If the suspect remains in the hospital, officers say they will get a warrant for his arrest and will wait until he’s released to make an arrest.