Ethan Rioux-Poulios of Woodstock appears Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris by videoconference from Cumberland County Jail in Portland where he admitted to probation violations from a 2019 manslaughter conviction. He was sentenced to serve the remaining five years of a seven-year sentence. Screenshot from video

PARIS — A Woodstock man, who police said led them on a motor vehicle chase last year in Oxford County that critically injured a Portland woman, was sentenced Tuesday to serve five years of a suspended sentence from a 2019 manslaughter conviction.

Ethan Rioux-Poulios, 28, was on probation at the time of the March 4, 2022, police pursuit when, prosecutors allege, he slammed a pickup truck into a car driven by a Portland woman on Oxford Street in Paris. She suffered life-threatening injuries and was eventually airlifted to a Portland hospital where she was listed in critical condition.

Rioux-Poulios had been convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in prison stemming from a similar 2019 motor vehicle crash in West Paris that claimed the life of a Norway man.

In a plea agreement, five years of that sentence was suspended, meaning Rioux-Poulios would serve two years behind bars for the manslaughter conviction.

After the March 2022 chase and crash, prosecutors filed a motion seeking to revoke Rioux-Poulios’ probation, citing six violations by alleging new criminal conduct.

On Tuesday, Rioux-Poulios admitted to three of those violations, including eluding an officer, aggravated driving to endanger and leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death.


Three additional alleged violations were dismissed.

Rioux-Poulios was indicted by an Oxford County grand jury in May 2022 on three counts of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, eluding an officer, driving to endanger, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death. Each of those is punishable by up to five years in prison.

He’s also charged with three misdemeanor charges of driving to endanger.

Justice Jennifer Archer appointed Lewiston attorney Daniel Dube to represent Rioux-Poulios, who had been appointed two attorneys previously.

Dube had been named as “stand-by” legal counsel after Rioux-Poulios parted ways with his last lawyer, but was elevated by the judge Tuesday to full-time status after Rioux-Poulios praised Dube for going “above and beyond” to represent his legal interests in the probation matter as well as the newer charges.

Rioux-Poulios appeared in Oxford County Superior Court by videoconference from Cumberland County Jail in Portland, where he had been held without bail pending his probation revocation hearing.


Dube and Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador told the judge they were seeking a settlement conference to discuss the new charges.

In the 2019 incident, the car Rioux-Poulios had been driving slammed into the back of a vehicle on state Route 26 in West Paris while fleeing from an Oxford County Sheriff’s Office deputy, killing 70-year-old John Pikiell of Norway, whose vehicle was propelled into a tree.

Rioux-Poulios fled the scene and was later located at a home in South Paris.

On March 4, 2022, about 5:10 p.m., the Oxford Police Department received a report of a Ford F-150 pickup truck being driven erratically on Mechanic Falls Road in Oxford and striking vehicles on Route 26 while passing them northbound.

He reportedly turned onto Oxford Street where he lost control of the truck and slammed into the Ford Escape, causing it to go off the road and into trees, police said. Nicole Kumiega, 28, of Portland, who attended the Tuesday hearing, was trapped in her car and special equipment was used to help remove her, police said.

Witnesses reported the driver escaped from his burning truck with a gash on his head and ran into nearby woods behind a school. Police received reports that the man had then stolen a vehicle and was headed toward Norway in it.


State troopers located the stolen vehicle and pursued it, police said.

The chase continued from Otisfield to Norway, where troopers tried unsuccessfully to use spike mats to disable it.

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 Maine State Police, Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Norway, Paris and Oxford police departments all involved.

A state trooper was able to nudge the stolen vehicle off Route 121 near the intersection with Allen Hill Road in Oxford after 6 p.m.

Rioux-Poulios was taken into custody.

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