Couple hit by suspect during police pursuit in Ambridge shares story with Channel 11
Channel 11 has learned that two people were inside of the pick-up truck that was struck by a man fleeing police on Tuesday in Ambridge.
We first brought you details of the pursuit on Wednesday.
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According to court documents, a Harmony Township officer first tried to pull Joseph Dillen Jr. over for allegedly driving on a suspended license for a DUI offense, while being known to “carry” to deliver drugs.
Dillen took off, speeding to Duss Avenue in Ambridge, according to police. There, he reportedly struck the side mirror of a parked car before ultimately striking a red pickup truck. A couple, who was inside that truck at the time, contacted Channel 11, upset by how the situation enfolded afterwards.
“We heard a screech, a very loud one, and before we knew what happened we had been rear-ended,” said Angel Sowatskey. “It was extremely forceful, I actually and all of our objects went in the air at the moment of impact.”
Sowatskey and her husband, Nick Seidler, had pulled in front of their home and were preparing to park. The impact sent the truck up onto a grassy stretch on the sidewalk. Tire marks were still visible on Thursday.
Both said that they suffered concussions and various other injuries, but no one came to help them.
The couple provided Channel 11 with surveillance video captured on their doorbell camera. It captures a period of time after the crash, where both were outside of the vehicle, not far from police, who had arrested the suspect nearby.
Seidler said that he was upset, and was speaking loudly to neighbors about the situation, using an expletive.
He said it was “chaos.”
“I was trying to be patient, waiting for someone to tend to us and ask us what happened, and as the adrenaline was leaving my body, I could feel more and more pain start to come and I just knew that I needed medical attention,” said Sowatskey.
The video shows an Ambridge officer shouting at Seidler to stop cursing. He is heard advising Seidler that he could face citations for “disorderly conduct.”
“I won’t warn you again, I’ve got enough problems here,” the officer is heard saying.
“We were the victims of this incident and he just kept pressing the issue that he had enough to deal with,” said Sowatskey. “Our vehicle was totaled. And we were injured.”
She said she intends to file a complaint against the officer.
We visited the Ambridge police station on Thursday. The chief told us that without having received a complaint, he would not comment.
The surveillance video captures another officer, who the couple says was from Harmony Township, eventually coming to ask if they were OK.
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