Salem man sent to prison for high-speed police chase while under the influence
A Salem man will serve up to six years in prison after he was sentenced Friday for being under the influence of controlled substances when he led police on a 20-mile, high-speed chase last year that started in Greensburg and ended with a crash in Loyalhanna.
David Negich Sr., 52, pleaded guilty to charges of driving under the influence, fleeing from police, resisting arrest and other related offenses in connection with a March 21, 2018, incident.
Police said they pulled over Negich for a traffic stop in Greensburg and suspected him of drunken driving. According to court records, Negich sped off as police attempted to remove him from his vehicle and sped through town. He eventually drove to Route 22 and into Loyalhanna, where he crashed into a guide rail before driving off toward Route 981 and Loyalhanna Dam Road.
Police said Negich sped off again after the crash over snow-covered roads and through a corn field, up over a dirt pile and went airborne.
The car spun in the air, landed and again drove off — this time toward police who were pursing.
According to records, police finally stopped Negich’s vehicle. As they attempted to pull him from the car, he reached toward a holster on his belt for a silver object, later determined to be a hatchet, officials said. Police said Negich refused to be handcuffed and had to be hit in the head and body before he could be taken into custody.
“I’m sorry. I’m on drugs. I’m on heroin,” police reported that Negich said after the incident.
Police said they found heroin, 11 glass crack pipes and marijuana in Negich’s vehicle.
Negich pleaded guilty in January to eight charges, including several summary traffic offenses. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining 10 counts, including one felony charge of aggravated assault.
On Friday, Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Feliciani sentenced Negich to serve two consecutive 1 1/2-to-three-year prison sentences, one each for drunken driving and fleeing from police.
Negich pleaded guilty and was sentenced last week to serve 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail for unrelated drug charges. In that case, police said Negich in February 2018 sold crystal methamphetamine and heroin out of his home to an informant, according to court records.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .