A Somerset County sheriff’s deputy was taken to a hospital briefly, and his cruiser was damaged and left undrivable, because of a crash early Thursday. The accident happened while the deputy was trying to help Maine State Police find a teenager who was reportedly suicidal.

One of the troopers was trying to stop the boy’s southbound vehicle on U.S. Route 201, Somerset County Chief Deputy James Ross said.

State police Sgt. Blaine Bronson said they were responding to a report of a suicidal 17-year-old boy in the Moscow area when the boy took off in a vehicle about midnight Wednesday. Bronson said police did not pursue the boy but followed him as he made his way south and then west.

Ross said Deputy Lucas Libby went to the area of Clough’s Corner in Madison on U.S. Route 201 and headed north to find a strategic spot to set up spike mats to slow the boy’s vehicle.

As Libby arrived in that area, he learned that the vehicle had crossed over to the Embden area and was southbound on Route 16.

Four Somerset County deputies and a fire unit from Anson also responded. Libby then drove to Golf Course Road in Madison and headed back west in case the vehicle continued toward the Madison-Anson Bridge, Ross said.

“As Deputy Libby approached the intersection of Thurston Hill Road and Golf Course Road, he misjudged his approach and went off the road into the ditch, causing damage to the patrol unit,” Ross said, saying the crash occurred a few minutes after midnight.

Libby was not injured in the crash but was examined at Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan as a precaution, Ross said. The cruiser was deemed inoperable and had to be towed from the scene, he said.

“We were just trying to make contact with him,” Bronson said of the boy. “I attempted to stop him and he didn’t stop. We didn’t chase him. We just shut down and followed him.”

Bronson said the boy drove onto a snowmobile or ATV trail off Eames Road near the Embden-Anson town line, but he found that the trail was blocked by a cable. He stopped his vehicle and fled on foot into the woods, Bronson said.

“Ultimately he came out and we were able to take him to the hospital for evaluation,” he said.

He said police did not need to use a tracking dog and that the boy was not injured.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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