October 19, 2013

Police: Girl, 13, says GPS led pair in wild Maine chase

She tells investigators that she and her 16-year-old companion were traveling to New Brunswick.

Kennebec Journal staff report

The 13-year-old girl who accompanied a 16-year-old boy on a high-speed chase in Canada and Maine told police a GPS unit led them to the Maine border.

The girl, who remains hospitalized, told investigators the two were traveling to New Brunswick to visit a friend, according to Stephen McCausland, Department of Public Safety spokesman. The shortest route to New Brunswick from Quebec is through Maine.

No other information, including the girl’s name, was released.

The pair is accused of leading officers early Tuesday morning on a chase, with speeds reaching 100 mph, on Route 27 from the border crossing linking Coburn Gore and St.-Augustin-de-Woburn, Quebec. The car, allegedly stolen, later was found abandoned in Kingfield, about 50 miles from the border.

U.S. Border Patrol agents fired shots at the fleeing car after it collided with two Border Patrol vehicles during the chase. Neither of the teens was hit by gunfire and neither fired back at authorities, police said Tuesday.

One agent was injured when his cruiser was rammed by the runaway teens, according to Keith Hoops, public affairs officer at the Border Patrol sector headquarters in Houlton.

He said the agent, whom he would not name, was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, where he was treated and released.

The teens are also accused of stealing a second vehicle, a Dodge pickup truck, from a home in Kingfield. They were caught after crashing the truck and jumping down a rocky embankment into the Carrabassett River in Kingfield, according to police.

McCausland said the girl has possible internal injuries suffered in the jump. McCausland, who said the girl was in stable condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland, didn’t have an update on her condition Friday afternoon. No charges have been filed against her.

The boy, Zachary Wittke of Eganville, Ontario, is being held without bail on three felony charges related to the incident. An Oct. 30 hearing is scheduled in Farmington District Court.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said his agency’s staff is investigating the incident because of the Border Patrol agents’ use of deadly force.

Wittke is on probation and wanted in Ontario on arrest warrants, said assistant Franklin County District Attorney Josh Robbins. He said he didn’t know what charges Wittke faces there.

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