YORK — A 31-year-old McCool Junction man is facing a felony assault charge after a TikTok video he posted following a traffic accident was seen by police.
York police officers were called to an injury accident at the Interstate 80 interchange Oct. 21. Both vehicles involved were in the ditch just north of the eastbound I-80 on-ramp.
Joshua Vergin, the driver of a 2014 Ford Focus with Minnesota plates, was sitting near the top of the embankment holding his head, which was bleeding. He couldn’t concentrate, officers said in an affidavit filed in York County District Court, and he showed signs of a concussion.
Vergin had been southbound on U.S. 81 in the left-hand turn lane, preparing to turn onto the eastbound ramp of I-80. The light turned yellow and a 2014 Ford pickup collided with his car.
The driver of the pickup, Jacob Stevens of McCool Junction, allegedly admitted to officers he “goosed it in order to beat the yellow traffic light before it turned red.” But he also said a semi was next to him and obstructing his view and the Ford Focus failed to yield.
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Officers say a witness told them he saw Stevens accelerate in a rapid manner to beat the light and the next thing he saw was the collision.
The day after the crash, the York Police Department received a tip from an anonymous source who said they located a video on TikTok posted by “Jakethesnake2010,” which officers determined belongs to Stevens. The video was dated the same day as the accident and officers said they confirmed the person recording and talking in the video was Stevens.
In the video, officers said Stevens explained how he was approaching the intersection when the light turned yellow. In court documents, police said Stevens bragged in the video he had a “6.7 Power Stroke (engine) tuned to 600 and I let her eat and mashed it.” Police also said Stevens said “Yeah the other guy’s alright, bleeding from his head, so.”
In their affidavit, officers said based on Stevens’ statements in the video they believe he operated his vehicle in “a reckless manner as to indicate willful disregard for the safety of persons or property and recklessly caused serious bodily injury with a dangerous instrument (his truck) to Joshua Vergin.”
Stevens has been charged with felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor willful reckless driving. He pleaded not guilty. A jury trial has been set for late May.