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Pennsylvania Officer Killed in Fiery Pursuit Crash

December 15, 2014  | 

A part-time Perryopolis, Pa., police officer was killed Sunday afternoon in a fiery two-vehicle crash on Route 51 in neighboring Perry Township when a Uniontown man crossed in front of his cruiser, police said.

Richard Anthony Champion, 35, of Ligonier Township, perished during a high-speed chase when his police cruiser, which had its lights and sirens activated, collided with a sport utility vehicle in the southbound lanes of Route 51, just south of Perryopolis, borough police Capt. Steven Kontaxes told

The officer's car burst into flames and customers at the Big Barn Country Store & Deli ran to the accident scene with fire extinguishers, Fayette County Coroner Phillip Reilly said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:15 p.m. by Fayette Deputy Coroner John Kondrla, Reilly said.

Andrew Bohatch, 59, of Uniontown, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of what police described as major injuries. He was in critical condition Sunday night.

Officer Champion was a military veteran. The Officer Down Memorial Page reports he had served with the Perryopolis Borough Police Department for eight months and also worked part-time with the Derry Borough Police Department. He is survived by his wife and 16-month-old child.



Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

TERRY F. ZECH VAPD (RET) @ 12/15/2014 6:25 PM

Another civilian failing to yield to lights and siren of an officer. I hope Mr. Bohatch survives his injuries because he is going to have to answer for his negligence. My sincere condolences to Officer Champions family and to his departments. Take care and stay safe.

kevCopAz @ 12/15/2014 9:17 PM

A "part time" Cop, probably way under paid. A Veteran of the Military, definitely was under paid. Yet he did these jobs, risked his life to protect others. God Bless him and all those that choose to do so. I for one salute those that are "auxiliary" or "reserve" cops. I have been a professional Police Officer for many many years and have seen these folks take the same crap and do the same dangerous job that we do without pay, or for very little!. Yes they are sometimes not as well trained, and perhaps a bit over zealous (not saying this is the case with this officer) but they are brothers and sisters to us professional full time LEOs anyway. Don't let anyone tell you differently. God rest his soul.

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