State Police release update on fatal accident investigation

January 22, 2014

On Jan. 12 at 6:48 p.m., a fatal vehicle accident involving Williamsport Police Officer Jonathan Deprenda, 32, of Wiliamsport claimed the life of James Robinson, 42, of Williamsport. 

State police say the crash occurred as Deprenda was responding to assist a fellow Williamsport Police officer involved in a vehicle pursuit. Deprenda's Ford Police Interceptor was traveling east on E. Third Street with activated emergency lights and siren. As the vehicle approached three vehicle traveling east in the east bound lane, it entered the west bound lane in an attempt to pass the three vehicles. Deprenda successfully passed two of the vehicles that were traveling behind Robinson's vehicle. As Deprenda approached Robinson's vehicle, Robinson turned left directly into the path of travel of Deprenda's Police Interceptor. 

After initial impact, Robinson's vehicle rotated clockwise while traveling in a north east direction and struck a utility pole on the north east corner of the intersection. Robinson's vehicle came to final rest against a building on the north east corner of the intersection. The vehicle then caught fire while in contact with the building.

The investigation determined that the speed of Deprenda's Police Interceptor was 88 mph at the time of the crash. The Pennsylvania State Police have concluded the primary investigation into this crash and have provided the investigatory details to the Lycoming County District Attorney Eric Lindhardt.

PSP's investigators are attempting to locate the vehicle that was directly behind Robinson at the time of the crash. If you witnessed this crash, please contact the Montoursville State Police at 570-368-5700.  

***UPDATE***

Williamsport Bureau of Police have also issued a statement regarding the crash. 

"The Williamsport Bureau of Police has become aware of potential video evidence that may be circulating online involving the tragic traffic accident in Williamsport on Jan. 12. 

The Williamsport Bureau of Police has also become aware of a possible eyewitness in a vehicle at the scene that may hold important clues. It is our hope that this individual will come forward and report their observation to the Pennsylvania State Police as soon as possible. 

A Williamsport Police vehicle driven by Officer Jonathan Deprenda collided with a vehicle driven by James David Robinson who tragically lost his life in the accident. 

We would remind anyone in possession of or with knowledge of any other evidence should immediately contact Pennsylvania State Police, the agency tasked with investigating the accident. Any potential evidence, including eyewitness accounts, is vital in assisting PSP investigators as (they) continue (to) gather facts surrounding this tragic accident."

*** 1-23-2014 Update ***

Williamsport Bureau of Police Capt. Timothy Miller spoke at a press conference at 5 P.M. this afternoon on the steps of Williamsport City Hall.  View the video here.

Additional Images: 
Williamsport Bureau of Police Capt. Timothy Miller