SKOWHEGAN — A high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon along Route 150 from Athens village into Skowhegan ended in a two-vehicle crash on Island Avenue in front of the Skowhegan Federated Church and the Skowhegan fire station.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Deputy Brian Crater spotted a black 1999 Chevrolet Corvette heading south on Route 150, just south of Athens, about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday. Carter had been notified a few minutes earlier by the Somerset County Communications Center that the Corvette had been reported stolen in Dover-Foxcroft in Piscataquis County.

A car chase ensued with speed exceeding 70 mph as the Corvette, driven by Paul C. Mills, 44, of Warren, led Crater into Skowhegan, police said.

Somerset County Chief Deputy James Ross blocked the northbound lane with his vehicle at the intersection of Route 150 and Hilton Hill Road in Skowhegan and attempted to have the Corvette pull over.

The Corvette did not pull over.

Skowhegan police took the lead just south of Steward Hill Road, Lancaster said. Somerset Detective Jeremy Leal deployed a spike mat at the intersection of Jewett Street and North Avenue in Skowhegan.

The Corvette went around the spike mat and turned right onto Jewett Street, in front of ORA the Salon hairdressers, as patrons and stylists watched.

“We saw the Corvette come from the North Avenue end of Jewett Street with quite a few sheriff’s vehicles following with lights flashing and sirens blaring,” ORA owner Leah May said. “The Corvette drifted around the corner at the lights, which just happened to be green, and all of the sheriffs’ vehicles followed suit.

“At first we thought the Corvette was in the way of the sheriffs going to some sort of call or something, but when he drifted around the corner, we realized it was a high-speed chase.”

The Corvette turned left, heading south on Madison Avenue, still reaching 70 mph.

The pursuit came to an end with the Corvette crossing into the northbound lane on Island Avenue, striking a 2006 Chrysler mini-van head on, Lancaster said.

The mini-van’s driver was Norman Dion, 61, of Waterville. The mini-van is registered to Coastal Auto Parts out of Ellsworth. An Emergency Medical Services ambulance from Redington-Fairview General Hospital took Dion to the hospital. An ambulance from Anson/Madison/Starks Ambulance Service took Mills, the alleged driver of the stolen Corvette, to the hospital.

While Dion remains at Redington-Fairview with injuries that are not considered life-threatening, Mills, who also has injuries that are not life-threatening, has been transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He will be booked at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison when he is released, according to Lancaster.

At the crash scene, Mills was lying on the pavement being treated by emergency responders from the Fire Department. He later was led away in handcuffs with his head wrapped in bandages.

Skowhegan police, Maine State Police and deputies of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department all converged on the scene of the crash, as did the Skowhegan Fire Department.

Lancaster said the sheriff’s office is charging Mills with operating under the influence, with prior convictions; operating after his license had been revoked, also with prior convictions; driving to endanger; eluding a police officer; two counts of passing a roadblock; criminal speed; and receiving stolen property.

Lancaster said Dover-Foxcroft police asked that Somerset issue summonses for two counts of theft — one for the stolen Corvette and the other for stolen coins in the town of Dover-Foxcroft.

Maine State Police Cpl. Christopher Carr was requested to investigate the crash. The vehicles were towed by Route 201 Service and Chuck’s Towing.

Lancaster said Mills will be treated at the hospital and will be booked on the arrest charges at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]



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