Car Crashes into Cement Wall at Joy Following 100 MPH High-Speed Chase; Two Flown to Erie

| June 2, 2017

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) — A Franklin man and a female passenger were flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie early Thursday morning after he drove his car into a cement wall following a high-speed police pursuit through the city.

(Photos by Michelle Williams)

According to a press release issued late Thursday afternoon, Franklin Police Ptlm. Barnes was conducting a state-sponsored traffic enforcement detail known as “Buckle Up” around 12:30 a.m. when he observed a red Ford Mustang operated by 33-year-old Travis Semrau.

Semrau allegedly committed several traffic violations including nearly hitting a parked car in the 1300 block of Franklin Avenue.

When Ptlm. Barnes attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Semrau fled the area at a high rate of speed in the Mustang and a pursuit was initiated.

The brief pursuit reached speeds of between 80 and 90 MPH from the 1500 block to the 1200 block of Buffalo Street with the suspect vehicle pulling away from Ptlm. Barnes at a speed believed to be in excess of 100 MPH.

The pursuit of the suspect vehicle was called off in the 1200 block of Buffalo Street due to the pursuing officer losing sight of the vehicle, most likely due to the vehicle’s lights being turned off. Ptlm. Barnes also cited the increased risk of both vehicles being involved in an accident.


All available patrol units shifted efforts into a search for the suspect vehicle. Search efforts were concentrated in the area where the Mustang was last seen.

While the search was being conducted, Venango County 911 dispatched Franklin Police, Franklin Fire, and Community Ambulance Service to the intersection of 4th Street and Buffalo Street for a report of a vehicle accident.

It was reported by 911 that the vehicle involved matched the description of the suspect vehicle and that it had hit a building at Joy Global Inc. on Buffalo Street at a high rate of speed. When officers arrived on the scene, it was confirmed that the vehicle involved in the accident was the same one involved in the high-speed chase.

The Mustang collided with a heavy garage bay door at Joy Global’s loading dock and continued into the loading bay where it slammed into a cement wall at a high rate of speed.

Police say the impact caused “massive damage” to the vehicle and entrapped the driver and an adult female passenger.

Franklin Fire, Rocky Grove VFD, and Community Ambulance Service extricated both occupants from the vehicle utilizing “heavy equipment.”

Both occupants were transported to UPMC Hamot in Erie by helicopter for treatment of serious injuries.

No update of either occupant’s condition is currently available.

“The passenger will not be identified due to privacy issues as well as her status as a victim in this case,” said Ptlm. Barnes in the release.

Pending the completion of the investigation, Semrau is expected to be charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts, including charges related to the assault of a Community Ambulance Service EMT.

The Pennsylvania State Police were later dispatched to conduct an accident reconstruction.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls