Dover man in hospital after shooting himself during police chase

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A 52-year-old Dover man is in the hospital after leading police on a chase that ended when he shot himself in the head in Columbia Wednesday night.

Hellam Township police say the pursuit began with a hit-and-run crash at about 5 p.m. in Springettsbury Township. No one was injured in the crash, but the other car involved sustained significant damage. An alert for the hit-and-run vehicle, a silver Saturn Ion, was issued by Springettsbury Township police.

At about 5:20 p.m., a Hellam Township police officer parked near Wrightsville spotted the car traveling east on Route 30 and followed it. The driver exited Route 30 at Columbia, and the officer followed. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle at a nearby stop sign, but the driver fled.

Police say the car was traveling on Route 441 when it slowed to 30-35 mph. The driver then shot himself in the head. The car drifted into the left lane, jumped the curb, and came to rest in a grassy area. There was no oncoming traffic in the left lane.

The man was hospitalized at Lancaster General Hospital. Hellam Township police chief J. Douglas Pollack said his injuries are “serious and life-threatening.”

Police have not released the man’s identity.