Maine State Police say this SUV crashed at the Saco exit of the Maine Turnpike during a police chase on Wednesday, and the driver fled into the woods, leaving a toddler in the vehicle. (Maine State Police photo)

A Biddeford man was arrested early Thursday morning after leading police on a high-speed chase on the Maine Turnpike that ended in a crash – with the man’s 2 1/2-year-old daughter in the back seat.

The girl was unhurt, police said.

The incident began around 9 p.m. Wednesday when police say Michael Messier, 25, passed a state police cruiser on the Maine Turnpike in Portland, allegedly traveling at 111 miles per hour.

State Trooper Gavin Hagar gave chase and Messier refused to stop, but lost control of his GMC Terrain SUV at the Saco exit, with the vehicle going down an embankment. Police said Messier ran off, leaving his daughter strapped in a child safety seat in the back.

Saco and Biddeford police searched for Messier but couldn’t immediately find him. He was arrested around 3 a.m. Thursday when, police said, he was trying to wave down motorists on the turnpike near the crash scene.

The girl was taken to the hospital for a quick check and then reunited with her mother, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.


Messier was also taken to Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and treated for mild hypothermia.

He was charged with eluding a police officer and violating his bail. The latter charge stemmed from Messier’s release from jail a few days ago on a domestic violence charge, McCausland said.

Messier was taken to the York County Jail and McCausland said additional charges are expected to be filed.

Michael Messier (Maine State Police photo)



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