WEST NEWBURY — Chief Jeffrey Durand reports that the West Newbury Police Department is investigating after a motorist crashed into a tree after refusing to stop for officers early Wednesday morning.
A West Newbury Police Officer was parked in a marked cruiser near the town Public Safety Building, 401 Main St., at 12:36 a.m. Wednesday when he observed a Cadillac sedan drive by the station on the roadway also known as Rt. 113, headed toward Groveland. The car had one headlight out and one of the front tires missing, leaving the vehicle driving on the rim.
Believing the vehicle had been in a prior crash, and given the danger of operating a vehicle on its rims, the officer turned on his emergency lights and attempted to affect a traffic stop. The motorist refused to stop and accelerated away from the officer.
The officer called out on his radio that the motorist had refused to stop, and the officer began to follow the vehicle. A second West Newbury cruiser was in the area of Knapp’s Greenhouses, 170 Main St., about 1.2 miles away, headed in the opposite direction toward Newburyport. That officer observed the Cadillac approximately one minute later, driving toward him at a high rate of speed with sparks coming from the undercarriage of the vehicle.
The vehicle passed the second officer, and a preliminary investigation indicates that the vehicle’s left front rim fell off shortly before the Cadillac left the roadway on the right shoulder, struck a fence, and then returned to the roadway for approximately 2/10 of a mile before crossing the double yellow line, leaving the roadway on the left side and finally striking a tree.
The West Newbury Fire Department and Atlantic Ambulance Services responded to the scene immediately.
The motorist, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, sustained serious, life-threatening injuries from the crash. He was taken by Atlantic Ambulance to a landing zone in Groveland before being transported by medical helicopter to a Boston hospital.
The driver is a 38-year-old man from Peabody, was also operating with a suspended registration. His name is not being released at this time.
The incident is under investigation by the West Newbury Police Department with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS). The Essex County District Attorney’s Office has also been notified.