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Thomas McNeel sentenced to 21 years in prison

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A trucker who hit four motorists and a police cruiser during a drug-fueled chase on Interstate 81 near Hagerstown has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Forty-three-year-old Thomas McNeel of Pontotoc, Miss., apologized in court Monday and thanked police for getting him off the road.

He was convicted in December of four counts of second-degree assault and seven other offenses for the December 2010 rampage.

The judge ordered McNeel to make restitution of more than $11,000 to two of the drivers he hit along a 12-mile stretch in Maryland.

The chase began in West Virginia and ended near Greencastle, Pa.

McNeel testified at his trial that he had used methamphetamine and a synthetic drug known as "bath salts" that morning. He claimed he couldn't remember the incident.

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