BANGOR, Maine — Several people on Interstate 95 called police last week to say a man in an old Dodge Intrepid was speeding and driving erratically on the highway without a front tire, Maine State Police Trooper Darren Vittum said Tuesday.
At the same time a woman driving a Jeep Liberty called police to say “she had been struck from behind by a vehicle that took off at a high rate of speed,” the trooper said.
The collision occurred near the junction of I-95 and I-395 and Vittum was just north of there when he got the call for help.
The gray 2000 Dodge Intrepid was smoking while Troy Stratton Jr., 28, of Bangor drove north toward Vittum, who caught up with him just before 8 p.m. Jan. 2.
“The passenger-side tire was gone,” the trooper said. “He was riding on the rim [and] there was a piece of the Jeep wedged in the door.”
Stratton’s “front fender, wheel assembly and front passenger door were all smashed in,” Vittum said, adding that he could smell alcohol on Stratton, who was given an Intoxilyzer test.
His blood alcohol level was “two times over the legal limit,” the trooper said. The state’s legal limit is 0.08.
Trooper Chris Hashey was called in to lead the accident investigation, Vittum said. The damage to the Jeep and that found on Stratton’s car “matched perfectly,” the trooper said.
Stratton was charged with operating under the influence, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and driving to endanger. He was taken to the Penobscot County Jail and later released, a jail official said.