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

PARIS — Police said a speeding, erratic driver heading from Oxford into Paris in a pickup truck Friday afternoon caused a head-on collision that resulted in several injuries and one vehicle bursting into flames.

That crash was followed by a chase as the driver escaped the wreck and fled in a stolen car, according to police.

Police did not release the names of those injured as the investigation was continuing.

Emergency crews were called to the crash site on Oxford Street in Paris, near Taylor Way, about 5:20 p.m. where a pickup truck was said to be fully ablaze. A woman driving a car struck by the truck was trapped in her vehicle and suffered life-threatening injuries, police said. Her male passenger escaped with minor injuries.

Emergency responders work Friday night on Oxford Street in Paris where police say a pickup truck and another vehicle collided head-0n, causing the truck to burst into flames. At least one person was critically injured, police said. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Shortly before the crash, Maine State Police and the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office had been notified of a truck being driven erratically and at high speed as the driver headed toward Oxford, about 5 p.m. As police prepared to pursue the speeding truck, they learned of the crash on Oxford Street, with someone reportedly trapped in the wreckage.

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


Minutes later, the car was spotted in the area of Yeaton Swamp Road, which runs between Allen Hill Road in Oxford and Gore Road in Otisfield. State police began to pursue the truck and by then, Norway and Oxford police had joined the search for the suspect.

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. It was unclear where the patient was being taken. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

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 chase entered Norway and then looped back into Oxford, police said.

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 being treated for minor injuries Friday night. Police said the man faces a slew of charges, including eluding police, driving to endanger and leaving the scene of a crash.

An Oxford County Sheriff’s official said the suspect is a local man with whom they are acquainted from previous incidents. The suspect was not immediately identified.

At the crash site in Paris, Oxford Street was closed to traffic as the investigation got underway.

Police said the woman driving the car struck by the pickup truck was later moved, by LifeFlight helicopter, to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Her passenger was treated at Stephens Memorial and it was believed he was later released.

Maine State Police were heading an investigation into the chase and crash later Friday night. A police lieutenant said that several people are being interviewed as the investigation continues.

Comments are not available on this story.