Police: Motorcyclist wrong way on I-81 during pursuit, chase ends in Pittston Twp.

By Ed Lewis - elewis@timesleader.com

PITTSTON TWP. — A Kingston man being chased by state police crossed the median and drove the wrong way on Interstate 81, nearly causing several accidents Wednesday, according to charges filed.

State police arrested Willard Fassett, 37, of West Bennett Street, when he turned into 84 Lumber on state Route 315 and toward the closed Walmart building on Oak Street, ending up on a dead-end road.

According to the criminal complaint:

Fassett was operating a motorcycle involved in a pursuit in Wilkes-Barre that continued north on Interstate 81.

A trooper patrolling traffic in a construction zone observed Fassett who crossed the median and continued to travel north in the southbound lanes toward oncoming traffic on I-81.

Another trooper traveling south on I-81 was nearly struck by Fassett. The trooper turned around and pursued Fassett going the wrong way on the interstate.

As Fassett continued traveling the wrong way, he nearly caused several accidents involving oncoming motorists, state police said.

Fassett exited I-81 on an entrance ramp at Mile Marker 175 and turned onto Route 315.

Fassett turned into 84 Lumber and toward the closed Walmart store where he encountered a dead-end, the complaint says.

State police said the motorcycle had a stolen plate attached.

Fassett was arraigned Thursday by District Judge Richard Cronauer in Luzerne County Central Court on charges of fleeing or eluding police, reckless endangering another person, receiving stolen property and three traffic citations. He was released on $7,500 unsecured bail, court records say.


By Ed Lewis