ORONO, Maine — A high-speed chase early Thursday morning left a Milford man with serious injuries and criminal charges, according to police.
Zachary Ladd, 21, led Orono police on a high-speed pursuit into Bangor in a stolen Jeep Cherokee until he crashed the vehicle near the intersection of Burleigh Road and Essex Street in Bangor, Orono police Capt. Josh Ewing said.
Ladd was driving the stolen Jeep on Outer Essex Street in Orono when the car went off the road, Ewing said. When a resident contacted police to tell them about the accident, Ladd fled the scene, Ewing said.
“When Ladd determined the police had been called, he took off,” Ewing said.
Ladd, who was the only person in the vehicle, drove toward Bangor on Essex Street at a high rate of speed, Ewing said, with Orono police Officer Jason Zalva in pursuit. The captain wouldn’t specify how fast the suspect was driving, only that it was “well over the speed limit.”
The speed limit on Essex Street heading toward Bangor from Orono is 45 mph, while it slows to 35 mph near the Burleigh Road intersection.
Ladd, who Ewing said was under the influence of alcohol, lost control of the Jeep just after passing Burleigh Road, causing the vehicle to flip. Ladd was thrown from the vehicle and landed “probably 25 yards” away, the captain said.
Ladd was in and out of consciousness at the scene and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. A hospital spokesman had no information regarding Ladd’s condition.
Ladd is facing charges of eluding a police officer, a Class C felony, and Ewing said additional counts of leaving the scene of an accident, criminal speeding and driving to endanger are pending.
State police were called in to reconstruct the accident, and Bangor police closed Essex Street to traffic from Burleigh Road to Grandview Road for about 20 minutes during reconstruction, according to Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards.
Ewing said Orono police have no plans now to arrest Ladd when he is discharged from the hospital, “but that may change.”
“In this situation, we’ve charged him and that will be submitted to the district attorney’s office,” Ewing said.