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Everson man charged in Connellsville police chase

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Almost 20 charges have been filed against an Everson man who led police on a chase through Connellsville in May that ended in a collision with a police vehicle.

Jeffrey D. Lauffer, 41, of 626 Painter St. has been jailed in Fayette County since July 16 with bail set at $50,000. He faces charges of driving under the influence, fleeing or attempting to elude police, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and numerous traffic offenses.

About 5 p.m. on May 30, Connellsville police responded to a reckless driver complaint and saw a silver Chevrolet Camaro operated by Lauffer speeding on South Pittsburgh Street. Lauffer led police on a chase to East Crawford Avenue, where the car abruptly stopped, causing the police car to strike it, according to court papers. Lauffer continued along East Crawford to Snyder Street, driving through a red light and weaving through traffic until he struck a guard rail along Route 711.

Lauffer was ejected, and his rib was fractured. His passenger, Charles Smith Jr., attempted to flee but was apprehended.

Smith told police that he and Lauffer had been drinking alcohol and shooting heroin, and that Lauffer refused to stop during the chase because he was intoxicated.

Lauffer's blood-alcohol content was 0.272 percent, nearly four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, and his urine contained cocaine and opiates, police said. No charges were filed against Smith.

A preliminary hearing for Lauffer is scheduled Wednesday at Connellsville District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr.'s office.

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