Saturday, April 19, 2014
A Portland man who remarkably survived being thrown from a tumbling car after a high-speed chase on Interstate 295 was indicted on charges of criminal drunken driving, eluding an officer and driving after his license was revoked for being a habitual offender, prosecutors announced Monday.
Robby Beaulieu, 41, had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit to drive when -- in trying to get away from police -- he flipped his car on the Forest Avenue off-ramp and was thrown through the air, landing in the snow, police said. He was arrested at gunpoint and taken to a hospital.
His license had been suspended at least 36 times, according to a police report by Trooper Douglas Cropper, the arresting officer.
Beaulieu was driving a 2002 Cadillac DeVille south on Interstate 295 on March 21 when another motorist in Freeport reported that he was drifting across the travel lanes, according to the police report.
Cropper, who was in his cruiser in the breakdown lane in Yarmouth, pulled out behind him and turned on his siren. Beaulieu sped up, at one point reaching 110 mph, the report said.
Just as another trooper was preparing to deploy a spike mat on the highway that would have deflated Beaulieu's tires, Beaulieu swerved off the highway onto the Forest Avenue outbound exit ramp, Cropper said.
The car rolled up onto its side, then went airborne, over the adjacent on ramp, Cropper's report said. Beaulieu was thrown from the car and landed in the snow near where the car came to rest down an embankment. Cropper turned left at the bottom of the ramp to get onto the on-ramp, pulled up near the Cadillac and pulled his gun, ordering Beaulieu to the ground.
Beaulieu was taken to Maine Medical Center, where he was treated for a number of injuries, including cuts to his face and a punctured bladder, the report said.
In the car, Cropper found a pellet gun and two bottles of Canadian Mist whiskey, one of them almost empty. According to the accident report, Beaulieu's blood alcohol content was .18. The threshold for drunk driving is .08 percent.
Trying to locate a family member, another trooper was sent to the address in Warren that Beaulieu listed as his home. The trooper arrived, only to find it was the Maine State Prison.
The reason the prison was listed as his address is because Beaulieu was on community confinement, where some offenders are released into the community as long as they have served the majority of their sentence and have a job. Beaulieu was sentenced in 2007 to five years in prison, with all but three years suspended, for driving despite losing his license as a habitual offender and for felony drunk driving. He now faces the remaining two years on his sentence plus the punishment for any new convictions stemming from the March incident.
David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:firstname.lastname@example.org