Unity man accused of leading police on 15-mile chase on ATV
A Unity man is accused of being drunk while leading police on a 15-mile chase on an all-terrain vehicle through the township early Sunday, according to court papers.
The chase ended when Michael Duane Balik, 22, of Whitney, crashed near Armel Hollow and Quarry roads, state police said. His male passenger was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital for treatment.
A trooper saw the ATV fail to stop at a stop sign and use a turn signal on Route 981 at 1:30 a.m. The trooper started to pursue the ATV, which crossed into the oncoming lanes and off the side of the road multiple times while accelerating to more than 60 mph on Route 130 and several other roads, according to court papers.
The ATV turned onto a gravel road and troopers slowed down and lost sight of it, police said. Moments later, other troopers spotted the speeding ATV when it drove off a road and rolled over several times, according to court papers.
Balik was identified by police as the driver. Police said his eyes were bloodshot and glassy and he smelled of alcohol. Investigators found Michelob Ultra beer cans around the ATV, according to court papers. Balik told police he fled because he had a previous drunken-driving arrest and thought he could get away.
He is charged with fleeing from police, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment and several summary traffic violations. He is free on $20,000 unsecured bond. He did not have an attorney listed in online court records. He could not be reached.
A May 20 preliminary hearing is set.
Online court records show Balik is scheduled for a May 29 hearing to enter a probationary program for first-time nonviolent offenders in connection with an October 2018 driving under the influence arrest.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .