Wednesday, April 16, 2014
A Rome man was seriously injured Saturday night after leading a state police trooper on a chase through Belgrade that reached speeds of 100 mph.
The 1993 Ford pickup truck, driven by George Day, 30, of Rome, which rolled over after a high-speed pursuit through Belgrade on Saturday evening.
Photo courtesy Maine State Police
George Day, 30, was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer unit in Waterville, then to Maine Medical Center in Portland with what Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance called "a potential life-threatening injury."
Day was listed in satisfactory condition at Maine Medical Center Sunday evening.
Perkins-Vance said the lights on Day's pickup truck were off for most of the chase, which covered more than a dozen miles.
Perkins-Vance was driving south on Route 27 in Belgrade, near the Sidney town line, at 6:32 p.m. when Day, driving a 1993 Ford pickup truck, passed her in the northbound lane, traveling 74 mph in a 55 mph zone.
She turned around to stop Day, but "he had no intention of stopping, whatsoever," Perkins-Vance said.
The trooper chased Day at speeds up to 100 mph north on Route 27, up to Belgrade Village, about 9 miles north of where the chase started, where Day turned onto West Road heading south, she said.
Day sped through the four-way stop intersection at West and Castle Island Road at 93 miles per hour, Perkins-Vance added.
Throughout much of the chase, "he had shut his lights off, he was completely blacked out," she said. "The only illumination was from my lights."
As the chase proceeded, dust and gravel tossed up by the high speeds made for visibility "like driving in the middle of a snowstorm," Perkins-Vance said. Her supervisor told her to terminate the chase, and Perkins-Vance slowed and turned off her cruiser's emergency lights and siren, but continued driving south on West Road.
She said she believes that Day, figuring he had eluded her, slammed on his brakes just past Dunn Road, backed up and turned onto it.
Perkins-Vance caught up with him, and Day accelerated, driving at high speed west down Dunn Road.
Perkins-Vance lives near the intersection of West and Dunn roads.
"We went right by my driveway," she said.
Day managed to drive about three-tenths of a mile down Dunn Road before rolling the pickup over, Perkins-Vance said. She said she did not see Day slam on his brakes or back up, but later found skid marks suggesting the maneuver. She did not see the crash.
When Perkins-Vance arrived at the crash site, she said, Day -- who was not wearing a seatbelt -- was trying to kick out the truck's windshield to escape into nearby woods. She ordered him at gunpoint to stop, and he complied.
Perkins-Vance charged Day with operating under the influence, eluding and violation of bail conditions.
She could not say what charges Day faced for which he was bailed, but added that he is also on probation. She was unable to say under what conviction he is serving probation.
Belgrade Fire and Rescue were called to the scene, she said.