Do not plant dope on state game lands, it could be fatal
Man fleeing police found dead under bulldozer, authorities say (VIDEO)
The bulldozer was in the area to clear brush and was then used to search for the suspect, state police say.
WRITTEN BY DAVID MEKEEL AND KAREN SHUEY
A man fleeing police Monday in Penn Township was found dead underneath a bulldozer being operated by a Pennsylvania Game Commission worker and carrying a state trooper, authorities said.
The man, whose name was withheld, was pronounced dead on state game lands near Snyder School Road and South Garfield Road by the Berks County coroner's office.
State police have termed the death accidental, but the coroner's office has not ruled on the cause or manner of the man's death.
An autopsy is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. today in Reading Hospital.
Trooper David C. Beohm, information officer for Reading-based Troop L, said that it was unclear if the man died as a result of being run over by the bulldozer.
“We're awaiting the results of the autopsy, which will determine the cause of death,” Beohm said.
A second man faces charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, trespassing and conspiracy.
He was awaiting arraignment late Monday. His name was also withheld.
Beohm said that the charges were based on 10 marijuana plants found growing in the area where the incident occurred.
State police have not released the name of the bulldozer operator or the trooper.
Beohm said that the incident is being treated similarly to when a trooper is involved in a shooting death.
He did not know if the trooper who was on the bulldozer had been placed on administrative leave, but said state police internal affairs investigators were at the scene.
According to troopers:
The saga began about 10:30 a.m. when a Game Commission employee was working on state game lands, using a bulldozer to clear dense brush.
The worker spotted a car parked along Snyder School Road and called Bernville police.
Bernville officers, including the chief, responded and found two men walking in the wooded area. One of the men surrendered. The other ran.
State troopers and vice unit members were called to assist in a search about 11 a.m. A state police aviation patrol used a helicopter in the search.
Troopers called to the man over the helicopter's loudspeaker, but he did not respond. When they lost sight of him in the brush, troopers in the helicopter relayed his last known location.
A trooper and the Game Commission worker used the bulldozer to search in the brush, which was too thick to walk through.
Between 1:30 and 2 p.m., the search was suspended.
As the trooper and driver got off the bulldozer, they spotted a man's body beneath the rear of the machine between its tracks.
Beohm said that the reason it's unclear if the man was struck and killed by the bulldozer is that the man, because of his age, could have had a heart attack while fleeing through the dense thicket.
A medical helicopter had been called to remove the body, but it was brought out of the woods by an ATV.
(Reporter Ron Devlin contributed to this story.)