Ithaca Police search for driver who ran off after serious crash involving Chief of Police

The Subaru that hit the unmarked Ithaca Police Department driven by the Police Chief

Ithaca police are searching for the driver involved in a serious car crash who ran away after the accident.

Ithaca Police Chief John Barber was driving an unmarked police car on West Clinton Street just before 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening. That's when a car driving the opposite way on Clinton Street suddenly turned into Chief Barber's lane and hit his vehicle head on.

Police say the chief got out of his car to start gathering information about the crash. He spoke to the driver of the other car, who apologized for turning in front of the chief. Police say Chief Barber started to look for witnesses in the area, then turned around moments later and found the other driver and a female passenger had run off.

Chief Barber only had minor injuries and was treated at the scene. He was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe and the other vehicle involved was a Subaru Legacy. Police say it appears both vehicles are a total loss.

An opened bottle of rum was found in the front seat of the Subaru, according to police. They identified the driver of that car as Christopher Rundt, 23, of Ithaca. Witnesses told officers he appeared to be intoxicated when he got out of the vehicle after the crash.

Police are now searching for Rundt, who is currently on parole, and criminal charges against him are pending.

Police believe the female passenger in Rundt's car is Ashley Woodward. They want to speak with Woodward about the accident and to make sure she is okay.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to contact the Ithaca Police Department.