Gregory Longenecker, a 51-year-old resident of Lehigh Valley, was just found deceased on July 9th in a tragic accident after trying to flee from police.
Pennsylvania State Police first became aware of an issue when an employee operating a Game Commission bulldozer contacted police. The witness had noticed a vehicle unlawfully traveling through the brush. Responding officers promptly located what the vehicle was likely searching for: ten marijuana plants. As police made their way towards the plants, two men took off running into the brush.
One of the suspects, David Light, was quickly detained and arrested, but Longenecker could not be located. Officers ordered a police helicopter for assistance with the search while another officer asked the bulldozer operator for his machine. The state trooper boarded the bulldozer and took instruction about the suspect’s location from the helicopter. At one point, the helicopter lost sight of the suspect. Moments later, the bulldozer appeared to have hit something, so the officer disembarked and discovered Longenecker crushed under the machine.
Initially, cops believed the suspect may have passed away from a heart attack while fleeing. Autopsy reports later confirmed Longenecker was killed by traumatic injuries stemming from being run over by the machine. Police have ruled his death an accident. Several activists have expressed their outrage over the department’s “unnecessary and reckless use of resources,” pursuing the suspects for marijuana plants.
54-year-old David Light was charged with marijuana possession with the intent to distributed. He was transported to Berks County jail but was later released on a $25,000 bond.