A Templeton woman who fled from Pennsylvania State Police troopers in early-January and drove in the wrong direction along State Route 422 was sentenced to jail yesterday morning.
Armstrong County Court of Common Pleas Judge James Panchik accepted Margaretta Askey’s pleas of guilty to aggravated assault, fleeing/eluding police, driving under the influence and reckless driving, waiving a jury trial that she made in May. Askey will now serve 15-60 months (or more than a year to five years) at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy (Lycoming County).
Askey – 31 – had been charged with dozens of charges, but most of her misdemeanor charges were withdrawn due to the plea.
She will be credited with 205 days behind bars, but will also have to perform 50 hours of community service, attend ARC Manor and undergo a mental health evaluation; as well as pay more than $3,500 in fines. .
Early January 7, State troopers based out of the Kittanning barracks allegedly witnessed Askey traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of State Route 422.
For 12 miles – from Manor Township through Clearfield Township in Butler County -, four troopers in two State units pursued Askey’s vehicle at speeds up to 95 miles per hour until Askey crashed.
During the approximately 10-minute pursuit, no State Police troopers or members of the public were injured – though 18 vehicles were noted as victims in addition to the four pursuing troopers.
At one point in West Franklin Township, investigating officer Trooper Brian Wolfe noted in his information release that Askey intentionally steered her 2006 Ford Freestyle SUV into the side of one of the pursuing State Police units.
Police allege that Askey intentionally caused more than $7,200 in damage to a State-issued 2014 Ford Taurus police cruiser during the January 7 incident.
Askey was flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh for injuries she sustained during the vehicle crash.
State Police later said Askey’s drivers license was suspended or revoked and was driving while under the influence of alcohol – a summary offense.
As of June 30, SCI Muncy (formerly known as the Industrial School for Women) had an institutional population of more than 1,400.