Route 202 closed due to accident

LEWISTON — A Skowhegan man who was driving a car being chased by an Androscoggin County deputy Wednesday was taken to Central Maine Medical Center with critical injuries following a crash on Route 202 in Winthrop.

Winthrop firefighters and police extricate the driver of a vehicle pursued by police that collided head-on with another vehicle Wednesday on Route 202 in Winthrop. Police chased the vehicle east on Route 202 from Androscoggin County; it struck an SUV near the Winthrop Veterinary Hospital just before 2 p.m.

A sheriff's deputy first attempted to stop Glen Witham, 39, in Greene, police said. Witham, who was wanted on warrants, sped away from Deputy Maurice Drouin and the chase continued down Route 202 into Winthrop.

Police in Winthrop were advised of the pursuit and officers there placed spike mats in the roadway. Witham managed to drive around the spikes, police said. But a few miles later,  he veered into the left lane as if preparing to pass. Moments later, he tried to pull back into the right lane but in doing so, crashed nearly head-on into an SUV driven by 27-year-old Jenna Lawrence of Manchester. Police said Manchester is eight months pregnant.

Lawrence was taken to MaineGeneral Hospital in Augusta with injuries that police said were not life-threatening.

A portion of Route 202, one of the main arteries connecting the Lewiston-Auburn area with Augusta, was closed because of the crash.

The collision occurred in front of Winthrop Veterinary Hospital, just east of Main Street and just west of Route 135. LifeFlight air ambulance was sent to the scene.

One man who was driving south on 202 shortly before the crash said the fleeing vehicle came up behind him at a high rate of speed.

"I looked in the rearview mirror and he was right on my tail," said the witness, who did not provide his name. "I pulled over to let him pass. There were a whole bunch of police cars after that."

Moments later, the man said, the vehicles crashed in the roadway. Witham's car, a four-door, came to rest mangled in the grass at the side of the road.

Maine State Police are investigating the wreck. Early reports that an Androscoggin County Sheriff's deputy was hurt in the crash were not true, Sheriff Guy Desjardins said.

He said his department would investigate to determine whether all of the department's chase protocols were followed during the pursuit. Desjardins was waiting for a copy of the crash report late Wednesday night.

Witham remained in critical condition at CMMC.

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Comments

 's picture

It doesn't matter if there

It doesn't matter if there are warrants or not.  When a police officer pulls you over you stop.  PERIOD

 's picture

You're right I would then

You're right I would then have the opinion they screwed up by not shooting the animal.

 's picture

I'm with whcosta and crankbait....

Why is it every single time something like this happens, or an officer has to shoot someone, it's the cops fault..or as Tron said...a republicans? It was Witham that didn't stop for the officer, so at this point, not only did he have outstanding warrants, he was eluding the officer. I sincerely hope the Mom and her baby are okay. The officers are well trained and do know when to stop a pursuit.

 's picture

Responsibility

How in the world does this become the officers fault?  Seriously people.  Too bad they couldn't just shoot people and call it a day.  There would be a hell of a lot less high speed chases.

 's picture

Monday Morning Quarterbacks

Agreed 100%.  Good call.

 's picture

Trons right

I almost never agree with Tron, but having a Law Enforcement background I will agree to a point with him on this.  Unless this man was considered a violent offender or known to be armed and dangerous the pursuit should have been called off.  Blaming the officer involved in the pursuit or saying he was out getting his jollies is out of line.  Lack of experience, training, and someone with more stripes on his shirt to call of the pursuit is the question.  Question I have is was there a higher up on duty making these types of decisions?  In most agencies a staff Sgt. is on duty for each shift and required to monitor the radio, or at least being mid week day time some type of brass should have been on duty.  IMHO

 's picture

Not a Tron fan but this time

Not a Tron fan but this time I agree with him.  The deputies should have backed off when the speeds became accessive and waited for another day to catch their felon.  Nothing good was going to come of a high speed chase on Route 202 in mid afternoon.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You are living proof that

You are living proof that liberalism is a perpetual state of adolescence. You can't put 9 words together without one of them being, idiot, wacko, Bush, Cheney, Haliburton, Republican, teabagger,....I could list 80 more, but, although you won't get it, most readers will get my point.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

For the record, my 18:25 post

For the record, my 18:25 post was directed at tron.

 's picture

Legally the Deputy could have

Legally the Deputy could have chased the vehicle to hell and back and arrested the driver and not have violated the Fourth Amendment.

 's picture

Tron, if you kept your pie

Tron, if you kept your pie hole shut you would not advertise your lack of knowledge. But then again I suspect your mental problems give you an excuse.  IT IS CALLED FRESH PERSUIT.

 's picture

Tron, the felony warrants

Tron, the felony warrants created the probable cause for the persuit. Read the law.

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