PARIS — A Woodstock man who led police on two high-speed chases through Oxford County in 2022, including a crash that critically injured a Portland woman, was sentenced Wednesday to serve 10 years of a 25-year sentence.

Ethan Rioux-Poulios, 28, appeared by videoconference from Maine State Prison, where he is serving five years of a suspended sentence from a 2019 manslaughter case that prosecutors said was “eerily similar” to the 2022 crash.

Ethan Rioux-Poulios, 28, of Woodstock appears Wednesday in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris via videoconference from the Maine State Prison in Warren. Christopher Williams/Sun Journal

The injured woman, Nicole Kumiega, spoke in Oxford County Superior Court on Wednesday shortly before Justice Jennifer Archer sentenced Rioux-Poulios.

Kumiega said she and her husband, Ethan Wyman, were returning home from a day of skiing March 4, 2022, when Rioux-Poulios slammed the pickup truck he was driving into their SUV on Oxford Street in Paris.

Kumiega was first taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, then flown by a LifeFlight of Maine to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she was hospitalized in the intensive care unit in critical condition.

Wyman, a passenger in the Ford Escape, was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, where he was treated and released.


Kumiega regained consciousness more than a week later, experiencing “intense hallucinations,” she said.

“When I woke up, I was confused and not really sure of what actually happened,” she said.

“My dominant arm was shattered, my neck was broken. I required a blood transfusion along with many other injuries affecting my entire body,” she said.

She underwent multiple surgeries and, when she finally left the hospital, engaged in intensive physical therapy, she said.

“I was spending at least eight hours a day every day working to get my life and independence back,” she said.

Nearly two years later, she continues regularly with physical therapy in an effort to regain her strength, she said.


Roughly three months after the crash, she was able to drive again; after six months, she was able to go back to work.

“Just because I drove and worked didn’t mean I was truly healed,” she said. “I had frequent (post-traumatic stress disorder) panic attacks, both at work and at home. I was constantly brought back to a time that my brain will really never remember, but my body can’t seem to forget. Even now I scream in the car when people hit the brakes. My whole body tenses when another driver passes or is too close to me.”

Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador holds a photo Wednesday of Ethan Rioux-Poulios in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris. Christopher Williams/Sun Journal

Kumiega acknowledged Rioux-Poulios’ brief apology to her Wednesday for “any harm” he caused her “mentally or physically” and wished her the best, noting it was the first time he’d expressed remorse.

“I have chosen to wake up with positivity and motivation to never let a man, who has just finally said he is sorry, ruin my life,” she said. “With that, it should be addressed that Ethan Rioux-Poulios was once given a gift of a second chance and completely disregarded that. He made the choice to get behind the wheel of a car again, put others’ lives at risk again, and flee without taking responsibility, again.”

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

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


He was sentenced July 2021 to seven years in prison, with all of that time — except two years — suspended.

Justice Archer told Kumiega: “I’m incredibly sorry that this happened to you, I don’t think my words can take away your pain. No one deserves what you went through. No one deserves the kind of trauma that your family experienced, watching what you went through. I really do wish that I could wave a magic wand and all of your pain would be gone.”

On Wednesday, Rioux-Poulios pleaded guilty to five felony charges in the 2022 crash, including two counts of aggravated assault, eluding an officer, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.

“Everything I heard today about the events of that day and what happened to the victims just shows that Mr. Rioux-Poulios’ conduct was just a disgusting display of a lack of respect for the law and for his fellow human beings,” Archer said.

When he is released from prison, Rioux-Poulios will be on probation for four years, during which time he will be barred from having alcohol and illegal drugs and can be searched and tested at random for both, Archer said.

He must undergo evaluation for counseling and treatment for substance abuse.


Rioux-Poulios may not operate a motor vehicle unless properly licensed by Maine’s secretary of state and he is prohibited from operating an all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile, watercraft or aircraft, the judge said.

He also is barred from having any contact with Kumiega and Wyman.

In the evening of Friday, March 4, 2022, the Oxford Police Department received a report of a Ford F-150 pickup truck being driven erratically on Route 121 in the direction of Oxford, passing vehicles at high speed.

A chase ensued on Route 26, but police were unable to get close to the pickup truck driven by Rioux-Poulios in the “extremely heavy” traffic, Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador said Wednesday.

An officer said he “noticed what he would describe as several near crashes involving this vehicle as it was on the wrong side of the road passing other traffic that was traveling northbound on Route 26,” Mador said.

When he caught up with the truck on Oxford Street, it was at a standstill on the wrong side of the road, its engine smoking, she said. Kumiega’s vehicle was in a ditch.


A nearby resident told police she saw a man running through the woods behind her home.

Around that time, the SUV belonging to another nearby resident was stolen by Rioux-Poulios after his crash with Kumiega, giving way to a second high-speed chase.

State police troopers located the stolen vehicle on Yeaton Swamp Road, which goes from Allen Hill Road in Oxford to Gore Road in Otisfield. The stolen vehicle sped off and troopers pursued it.

The chase continued from Otisfield to Norway at high speeds, Rioux-Poulios often driving on the wrong side of the road and forcing vehicles off the road. Officers tried unsuccessfully to disable the vehicle with spike mats, Mador said.

Eventually, a state trooper was able to perform a maneuver that forced Rioux-Poulios’ vehicle to spin out into a snowbank on Route 121 near Allen Hill Road in Oxford.

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