POTTSTOWN PA – A 33-year-old Pottstown man is being held in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility and awaits an Aug. 22 (2012; Wednesday) preliminary hearing, Lower Pottsgrove police said, after his arrest Saturday evening (Aug. 11) on multiple charges stemming from what they allege was an incident of road rage on U.S. Route 422.
George C. Payne, whose address police listed only as Pottstown, faces charges of causing or risking a catastrophe, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving, and careless driving, following Sgt. Timothy Walters’ investigation of a two-vehicle accident with injuries that occurred at about 7:42 p.m. in the westbound lanes of 422 near Porter Road.
Walters reported Payne, when questioned, said “he had caused the accident” when “he became frustrated and angry with traffic and ‘brake checked’” a Honda being driven by April High, whose address was not given.
High was traveling west in the highway’s passing lane when a vehicle driven by Payne approached hers and flashed its headlights’ high beams, Walters wrote. High moved to the right lane, allowed Payne’s vehicle to pass, and then moved back into the left lane so she could pass other cars.
Payne’s vehicle slowed in front of High, according to Walters. Payne then allegedly tapped his brakes several times, and “slammed on his brakes directly in front of High,” the sergeant added. To avoid striking Payne’s vehicle, Walters said, High swerved and lost control of her own car, “spinning out into the right lane” and “striking a second vehicle” that coincidentally was operated by her brother, David High.
Both vehicles sustained “heavy front-end damage” and three occupants were taken to Pottstown Memorial Medical Center for treatment, Waters reported. Debris from the accident that was strewn across the highway caused police to close 422 westbound for a time at the Sanatoga interchange.
Payne was seen by police at the accident sitting on a nearby guide rail. It was during an interview with him about the event, Walters said, that Payne acknowledged his role, while “acting very angry and irrational.” It was at that point Payne was taken into custody.
Police were called to the scene by a witness, Walters said. The Sanatoga Fire Company, Sanatoga Fire Police, and Goodwill Ambulance all provided assistance.
- Road rage blamed for crash that shut down Rt. 422 (The Mercury)