Emergency responders and a crew from LifeFlight of Maine load a patient injured Friday night in a head-on crash in Paris into a medical helicopter at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

OXFORD — A Woodstock man on probation for manslaughter in a 2019 crash was identified by authorities Saturday morning as the man that led police on a chase Friday through Oxford County that involved numerous collisions with other vehicles and left one young Portland woman in critical condition.

Authorities said 26-year-old Ethan Rioux-Poulios of Woodstock was taken into custody and charged with nine different counts including eluding, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and driving to endanger.

2022 submitted photo of Ethan Rioux-Poulios Submitted photo

Once taken into custody Friday night, Rioux-Poulios was evaluated at Stephens Memorial Hospital and then transported to the Oxford County Jail.

According to a statement released by the Maine Department of Public Safety, the driver of a Ford Escape that was struck by Rioux-Poulios, 28-year-old Nicole Kumiega of Portland, was first taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital by PACE Rescue, then flown by Lifeflight to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she was in critical condition.

The passenger in the Ford Escape was transported by PACE Rescue to Stephens Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released, according to the release.

In all, 10 agencies, including the State Police, Oxford Sheriff’s Department and Oxford Police Department were involved in the chase.


When arrested, Rioux-Poulios was on probation for a 2019 manslaughter conviction for crashing into a vehicle on Route 26 in West Paris while fleeing from an Oxford County Deputy, killing the driver, according to the Department of Public Safety. In that incident,  Rioux-Poulios fled from the crash scene and was later located at a residence in South Paris.

Emergency responders work Friday night at the scene of a head-on crash on Oxford Street in Paris that left one driver critically injured. One driver stole a vehicle after the crash and led police on a chase, officials say. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The chase began at about 5:10 p.m., when Oxford Police Department received a report of a Ford F-150 pickup truck being driven erratically on Mechanic Falls Road in Oxford. Police then observed a pickup truck northbound in heavy traffic on Route 26 in Oxford. “The truck was seen passing vehicles recklessly, with oncoming traffic,” according to the release.

Oxford Police attempted to catch up with the truck. “While passing Walmart on Route 26 in Oxford, the truck was observed by witnesses striking other vehicles and continuing north on Route 26. The suspect turned from Route 26 onto Oxford Street where, according to more witnesses, he continued making unsafe passes before losing control of his pickup truck and driving into an oncoming vehicle, causing that vehicle, a Ford Escape, to go off the road and into trees.”

The woman driving the car was trapped in her vehicle and special equipment was called for to help remove her.

Witnesses reported the driver of the truck escaped from the wreckage with a gash on his head and ran into nearby woods behind a school. The truck was in flames. A short time later, it was reported that the man had stolen a vehicle and was headed back toward Norway.

State troopers located the stolen vehicle on Yeaton Swamp Road in Oxford, not far from the crash. The stolen vehicle sped off and troopers engaged in a pursuit, according to authorities.


The chase went from Oxford, into Otisfield and through Norway, where troopers attempted to utilize spike mats to disable the vehicle without success. During the chase, the driver was reported to have gained speeds of up to 75 mph and was said to be passing long lines of cars in an attempt to elude police. The pursuit went back to Oxford, with the Oxford Sheriff’s Department, Norway, Paris and Oxford Police all involved.

“That guy blew past us on the way home from Sunday River. Driving down the center of the road like a maniac with two officers in pursuit,” said one witness.

A police officer was able to nudge the stolen vehicle off the road on Route 121 near the intersection with Allen Hill Road sometime after 6 p.m. A short scuffle ensued before the suspect was taken into custody. He was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries, and then taken to the county jail.

Other offenses Rioux-Poulios is charged with are: failure to stop for police, refusing to submit to arrest, exceeding posted speed 30+, probation violation.

Others involved in the operation included PACE Rescue, Oxford Rescue, Paris Fire, Norway Fire and Oxford Fire.

Authorities are asking any witnesses or anyone who was injured or whose vehicle or property sustained damage from the incident to contact State Police Troop B Investigators Trooper Adam Fillebrown and Trooper Jason Wing at 207-657-3030.

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