Crime & Courts

Report: Lancaster man had 5 kids in car during high-speed chase, crash

William Bailey
William Bailey Chester County Sheriff’s Office

A Lancaster man was charged with five counts of child endangerment after a weekend high-speed chase that started in Lancaster County and ended when both vehicles crashed in Chester County, according to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office.

Chester County deputies were flagged down on Catawba River Road just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday by William Heath Bailey, 25, and a woman standing with five children, according to a sheriff’s report.

The woman, who was not charged, said they had crashed while chasing a man, identified in the report as the victim, for stealing her television.

The victim told deputies Bailey approached him at a store off Riverside Road in Lancaster about money he owed Bailey for some pills he got from Bailey several weeks ago, the report states. Bailey told the victim he had a gun and wanted his money, according to the report.

The victim was passenger in a blue Honda Accord during the confrontation, deputies said, and a female driver drove them away. Bailey followed them in a blue Pontiac Grand Prix on S.C. 9 into Chester County, the report states, then onto Catawba River Road.

The driver of the Honda told deputies Bailey bumped the back of her vehicle twice, with the second hit causing her to lose control and drive off the road, through a fence and into a pasture, the report states.

Bailey told deputies he received a call that the victim had been at his home in Lancaster and had left with a television. When they approached their home, he told deputies, they passed the blue Honda and he turned around to chase it.

Bailey tried to pass the Honda to get in front of the car and slow it down, traveling about 65 mph in a 55 mph zone, he told deputies. He said the Honda hit the passenger side of his vehicle and both drivers lost control of their cars, causing the Pontiac to slide off the road and down an embankment.

A witness traveling on Catawba River Road toward York County said she saw the two vehicles approach her in her rear-view mirror and was concerned the vehicle directly behind her might hit her, the report states. She said it appeared the Pontiac struck the Honda, which made “a jolting movement,” sending the car into a spin and both vehicles traveling off the road in opposite directions.

No one in either car needed medical attention, deputies said.

Bailey was charged with five counts of child endangerment and one count of second-degree assault and battery, according to the sheriff’s report. He was placed in the Chester County detention center, where he remained Monday without bond.

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala