POLICE BEAT

Ellsworth man faces charges for OUI, fleeing the scene of accident

Posted March 05, 2012, at 4:27 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — An Ellsworth man is facing several charges after he rolled his car over late Sunday night while driving under the influence and then fled into the woods on foot, according to police. The suspect eventually was found with the help of a thermal-imaging camera.

At around 10:15 p.m. on Sunday, the Ellsworth Police Department received a call from a passer-by who came upon a car that was resting on its driver’s side along Beechland Road. The car apparently had smashed into a utility pole at the driveway to a church and then rolled over, but the caller said she did not see anyone around the vehicle.

While circling the car, Officer Paul Gamble found a Boston Celtic’s hat and footprints in the snow leading into the woods. Gamble wrote in his report that he lost the tracks after about 100 yards but called the Ellsworth Fire Department to bring a thermal imaging camera that can pick up a person’s body heat.

The driver, identified as John Foster, was located in the woods not far from where the officer had lost the tracks. Foster, 34, was taken to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital for possible head and neck injuries, police said.

Foster was summoned for operating a vehicle while under the influence, driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident.

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