RIPLEY — A stolen truck carrying stolen scrap metal rolled over Tuesday afternoon on Route 154, sending two people to the hospital after a high-speed chase involving police from four agencies.

The chase started around 3:30 p.m., when the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office received a report of stolen scrap metal in Ellisotsville Township, said Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

When officers responded they recognized the truck, a 1995 black Chevrolet S-10, as one that had been reported to state police as stolen on July 2 in the Penobscot County town of Bradford, said Lancaster.

As police were about to stop the truck, it sped off, leading police on a chase that lasted about 50 miles through winding roads in Piscataquis and Somerset counties, Lancaster said.

Speeds reached about 90 mph, according to police scanner traffic at the time. The truck entered Somerset County in Harmony and was driving east on Route 154, also known as Main Stream Road, in Ripley when it swerved to avoid spike mats that had been laid by police, Lancaster said.

A spike mat is a metal mat that police use to stop a vehicle in a chase. It inserts hollow pins into the tires of the vehicle that cause the tires to deflate slowly as a safe way to stop a vehicle.

The alleged driver of the truck, Michael J. Thompson, 26, of Corinna, swerved to avoid the mat, and in doing so lost control, causing the truck to roll over onto its side near 142 Main Stream Road, Lancaster said.

“The mat did not make him crash, but because he tried to avoid it, the truck rolled over,” he said.

Thompson and a passenger in the truck, Angel Clark, 42, of Etna, both had to be extracted from the truck and were taken by ambulance to Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft, Lancster said.

Metal railroad spikes and other debris, including a whisk and a wooden bear statue, lay in the road near the overturned truck.

“It was quite a sight,” said Dan Grant, a Dexter firefighter who saw the crash happen from his driveway. “I kind of saw them going off the road, and then I heard all the sirens.”

Investigators from the Penobscot, Piscataquis and Somerset county sheriff’s departments will be working on the case along with district attorneys from all three counties to determine what charges will be filed.

The Dexter Police Department, the Dexter Fire Department and state police also responded.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]


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