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Harrisburg man will face trial for fatally striking motorcycle driver while fleeing traffic stop

HARRISBURG — A Harrisburg man accused of striking and killing a motorcycle driver while attempting to flee from a traffic stop is headed to trial, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

Maurice J. Phillips had a preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge Hanif Johnson on Thursday. Johnson dismissed one charge against Phillips, but held him over for trial on all other charges, including homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death or personal injury, fleeing or eluding police, flight to avoid apprehension, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, resisting arrest, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and several traffic offenses.

Phillips is scheduled for formal arraignment on November 2, 2018.

According to investigators, on the night of July 19, Harrisburg police attempted to pull over a car driven by Phillips for a minor traffic violation.  Instead of pulling over, Phillips allegedly sped away from the police, driving the wrong way down a one-way street at a high rate of speed. Police called off pursuit, citing concern about the danger posed by instigating a high-speed chase through the narrow streets.

But Phillips, police say, continued to flee the wrong direction on North 15th Street, driving straight into the intersection of 15th and Market Streets, where he struck a motorcycle traveling on Market Street.  The driver of the motorcycle did not survive the impact of the collision.

Phillips got out of his car and ran away, but was caught nearby hiding in the backyard of a residence.