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18-Year-Old Arrested After Police Chase, Crash Inside Squirrel Hill Tunnel

By: Erika Stanish, Lindsay Ward and Chris Hoffman/KDKA-TV

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- An 18-year-old is accused of leading police on a car chase through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel and crashing into another car inside.

Jones is accused of speeding on the outbound Parkway East. Police said it looked like he was getting off at the Homestead exit and when he got back on the parkway, a trooper chased after him. Jones allegedly sped into the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, weaving in and out of traffic before crashing into another car.

A witness inside the tunnel caught the crash on his dashcam and said it all happened within seconds.

"I look to my left rearview mirror and I saw a car swerve from the right to the left lane at a ridiculous speed through the tunnels. I would estimate 65 to 70 miles per hour," Thomas Maryanski said. "He passed me doing that speed and realized the vehicles in front of me, which were about 30 yards ahead of me, started braking. Everybody started slowing down and he slammed on his brakes, but it was too late. He lost control of his car, slammed into the car in the right lane. He flipped back and smashed against the wall and came to a stop."

Maryanski said seconds later, the man got out of his car and started running out of the tunnel.

"He reached for something in his waistband, kicked his shoes off, and started running towards the exit of the tunnel. That's when the police cars showed up and jumped out and screamed, 'Stop, stop.'"

Police said a trooper then heard what he believed to be a gunshot.

WATCH: Erika Stanish reports:

"The trooper then tactically exited the tunnel and subsequently located the fleeing suspect," police said in a release.

When police searched the scene, they found a gun and one spent shell casing inside the weapon.

Eliza Watson was on her way to Point Park University when she stumbled into state troopers arresting Jones.

"Part of me is not surprised but part of me was like, 'wow,'" Watson said over Zoom.

Jones is facing a list of charges, including careless driving, carrying a firearm without a license and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

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"After that, a couple of police officers came back down the tunnel and secured the scene and came to us and said it's going to be a while, a long while," Maryanski said. "He (an officer) said because the suspect shot at one of our police officers."

The crash shut down the tunnel for about two hours. Maryanski said the entire incident could have been much worse.

"That could have been a 10 to 15 car pileup that would have been horrid," Maryanski said.

Police said a woman was driving the vehicle that was hit by the suspect in the crash. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to police. The suspect also had minor injuries.

WATCH: Lindsay Ward reports:

Police said when they searched his car, they smelled marijuana and found a vape pen inside.

KDKA went by the address listed as his house to get his side of the story. There was no answer after trying multiple times.

Jones has bonded and is due back in court on March 2nd for a preliminary hearing. He's being held in the Allegheny County Jail.

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