Two men were arrested Sunday on drunken driving charges following separate car chases with police — one ending in a fiery crash in Pittsfield and the other at a suspect’s home in Skowhegan.

In the crash, rescue personnel, bystanders and police lifted a car off the driver, Jeffrey Chiffens, 25, of Hartland, after he was ejected from the vehicle, according to Sgt. Aaron Hayden of Maine State Police.
Hayden said Chiffens lost control of the vehicle about 1:20 a.m. Sunday on a curve, crashing his 2004 Chevy Avalanche into a vacant house and then rolling the vehicle over.

“The vehicle came to rest and started to catch fire,” Hayden said Monday. “Chiffens was found wedged underneath the vehicle. They lifted the vehicle and pulled him out.”

Trooper Jesse Duda said he saw the vehicle leaving the M-Room Sports Pub on state Route 100 in Palmyra, according to Hayden.

When the trooper tried to stop the car for erratic operation, the driver, later said to be Chiffens, refused to stop.

“The vehicle accelerated away in an attempt to try to elude Trooper Duda, first heading out Route 2 toward Pittsfield, then reversing direction,” Hayden said. The chase took the pair through Palmyra, Newport, Detroit and Pittsfield, where Chiffens lost control and crashed at the corner of North Main Street and Madawaska Road in Pittsfield.


Chiffens was taken to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield and was later released into state police custody after being medically cleared, according to Hayden.

Chiffens suffered a partially collapsed lung and a broken facial bone.

He was charged with operating under the influence, eluding an officer, aggravated driving to endanger, criminal speed and multiple traffic infractions.

Chiffens is being held at the Somerset County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.

In Skowhegan, the other chase reached 75 mph on North Avenue, went onto side streets, and eventually to Dawes Street where the suspect lives and where he was arrested, police said.

Dylan L. Lancaster, 22, of Skowhegan, led police on a “chase and ended up right at his house,” Deputy Police Chief Dan Summers said.


The chase began after Officer Brett Lowell saw a black, 2000 Chevy pickup truck “blistering northbound” on North Avenue, also state Route 150, about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Summers said.

Lowell turned on his blue lights in an attempt to pull the vehicle over, but the driver, identified later as Lancaster, refused to stop until he got home.

“It ended pretty quickly right at the residence,” Summers said.

Lancaster was charged with operating under the influence, reckless conduct, failure to stop for a law enforcement officer and motor vehicle speeding more than 30 miles over the speed limit.

He later was released on bail of $2,500 from the Somerset County Jail.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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