NORWAY — A Norway police officer was transported to a hospital early Monday morning following a vehicle crash that wrecked the department cruiser he was driving. 

According to Norway police Detective Gary Hill, officer James Ventresca was in pursuit of a speeding vehicle when the crash occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. Monday morning. 

Hill said Ventresca sustained minor injuries in the crash and was transported to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway for evaluation. Ventresca was released from the hospital later that morning, Hill said. 

According to Hill, Ventresca was pulled over to the side of the road, completing a routine traffic stop near the intersection with Route 117 when a white car “flew by” his cruiser at a high rate of speed, heading into downtown Norway.

Ventresca pulled into the road and went after the vehicle with his emergency lights flashing, in an attempt to pull it over for speeding, Hill said. 

According to Hill, Ventresca lost control of the vehicle on a slick patch of road near the intersection with Crockett Ridge Road. The cruiser flipped during the crash and landed on its roof, he reported. 

Two occupants of the vehicle Ventresca pulled over only minutes earlier rushed to the scene and helped the officer out of his cruiser, Hill said. The two told police they saw the same white car speed by themselves and Ventresca when they were pulled over to the side of the road. 

Hill said the white car did not stop or turn around after the crash. Police are trying to extract footage from the dashboard camera in Ventresca’s vehicle to further identify the vehicle and are interested in questioning the driver, he said.

In line with department policy, the Maine State Police are investigating the crash, Hill said. The vehicle is believed to be a total loss, and the department is putting together a plan to use other vehicles until it is replaced, Hill said.

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