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Hamburg man fleeing police almost collides with deputy’s vehicle

An unlicensed driver from Hamburg almost hit an Erie County sheriff’s deputy’s car head on while fleeing police, a sheriff’s spokesman reported Wednesday.

Deputy Jason Breinlinger was conducting traffic enforcement on Langford Road, in the Town of North Collins, at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, when a vehicle sped past him, the spokesman said. The deputy pursued it and tried to pull it over, but the driver refused to stop.

When the vehicle approached the Village of Eden, village police tried helping with the stop, but the driver evaded police and turned onto Sandrock Road. While driving on Sandrock, the fleeing vehicle nearly collided head on with Deputy Justin Hyde, who had arrived to assist.

The pursuit was called off because of safety concerns, the spokesman said. But deputies continued their investigation, with help from other agencies, and the vehicle was located at an apartment complex on Scranton Road in the Town of Hamburg.

The vehicle was unoccupied, but deputies kept an eye on it. At about 11:30 p.m., deputies saw someone trying to enter the vehicle. That person subsequently was identified as the driver during the pursuit, the spokesman said.

Steven Coughenour, 28, was taken into custody and charged with reckless endangerment, unlawful fleeing, reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and several, unspecified traffic violations.

Coughenour was in the county holding center, pending an appearance Wednesday in North Collins Town Court.