August 30, 2013

Corinth woman drives wrong way on I-95, hits cruiser, police say

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

ORONO – A 22-year-old Corinth woman drove a vehicle into a utility pole on Mill Street on Thursday night, then took off driving north in the southbound lane of Interstate 95 until she crashed into a police cruiser, setting it on fire, in Old Town, state police said.

click image to enlarge

This state police cruiser was destroyed when it was hit by a suspected drunken-driver on Interstate 95 in Old Town.

Maine Department of Public Safety photo

McKenzie Kaphammer was arrested on charges of operating under the influence, aggravated criminal mischief, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and passing a roadblock, according to a news release from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Orono Regional Communications Center received an emergency call around 11:40 p.m. reporting that a car had hit a pole on Mill Street and then was driven off.

About midnight, three calls came in about the same car traveling north in the southbound lane of the highway around exit 191.

Trooper Christopher Hashey met the car around exit 193 and tried to stop it, but Kaphammer kept driving, police said. Hashey then crossed over to the northbound lane and drove parallel to the car, until he got ahead of it, and blocked its path with the cruiser and a tire-deflating device. He got out of the cruiser and moved a safe distance away.

Kaphammer did not try to stop or avoid the cruiser, but crashed into it around exit 197, setting off a fire under the cruiser's hood.

Hashey got Kaphammer out of the car and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.

Kaphammer was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and treated, then taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor, police said. Results of a blood-alcohol test were not available Friday afternoon.

Police said both Kaphammer's car and the cruiser were destroyed. 
 

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