May 24, 2018
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Distraught man reportedly crashes after high-speed chase on I-95

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

CARMEL, Maine — A distraught and intoxicated man who reportedly led police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 95 on Tuesday afternoon was taken to a Bangor hospital after the chase ended with a crash.

Lt. Wesley Hussey of the Maine State Police identified the driver as Jason Brown, 29.

Maine State Police Sgt. Sean Hashey, who investigated the accident, said Tuesday night that Brown is an Augusta resident.

According to Hashey, the chase began about 3:15 p.m. in Waterville.

“[Police] had some information that he was suicidal. They were obviously looking to stop him and he took off on them. He was driving a red Dodge pickup with no plates on it,” Hashey said.

The truck, Hashey said, had been reported stolen by Charlie’s Motor Mall in Augusta.

Waterville police were involved in the early part of the chase, which began shortly after 3 p.m., but they eventually broke off and state police took over.

The pursuit continued onto the northbound lanes of I-95, where Brown reportedly traveled roughly 40 miles, at times reaching speeds of 105 mph.

“That’s probably the top speed for that truck,” Hashey said. “He was trying to get to Houlton to his girlfriend is what he was telling us. We also had information that he may be intoxicated.

“The troopers could actually see him drinking out of a beer bottle while he was driving,” he said. “And [his license] was under suspension as well. He has a history of OUI convictions.”

The chase ended about 3:45 p.m., shortly after Brown drove over two sets of spike mats that Trooper Chris Hashey set up near mile marker 171.

By that point, Brown already had driven around a spike mat set up at the Newport exit, Hashey said, adding that there may have been another set in place farther south.

After driving over the spike mats in Carmel — which flattened the truck’s two passenger’s-side tires — Brown’s pickup left the roadway and struck a tree.

Hashey said that Waterville police told state police that Brown had cut his wrists and was bleeding heavily. Brown used his cellphone to keep in contact with state police dispatchers at the Orono barracks during much of the chase.

“We were trying to talk to him, to tell him to slow down and pull over, talk him down. At times he would slow right down but then at other times he’d speed right back up again and take off. He was on a mission to get to Houlton to see his girlfriend. He said he wasn’t stopping until he got there.”

Brown was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for treatment of injuries that Hashey said were not considered life-threatening. He said that any injuries Brown suffered in the crash were minor; the most serious injuries Brown had were those that he inflicted on himself.

Brown will be charged with eluding police officer, passing a roadblock and theft of a motor vehicle — all of which are felonies — as well as operating under the influence, operating after suspension of driver’s license and violation of probation from a prior arrest, Hashey said. He said additional charges might be filed.

The truck was declared a total loss.

Bangor Daily News photojournalist Kevin Bennett contributed to this report.

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