A wild high-speed chase of a stolen C5 Corvette coupe ended in a head-on collision Tuesday afternoon in Skowhegan, Maine.
Police will have plenty of witnesses to call if they choose, since the chase zoomed past a downtown beauty salon, where patrons and stylists watched, and ended in front of the Skowhegan Federated Church, where a funeral was going on.
When all the action ended, the occupants of the two cars involved in the crash suffered only minor injuries, but the driver of the Corvette was carried away to the hospital in handcuffs and wearing bandages on his head.
The chase began about 12:15 p.m. when Somerset County Deputy Brian Crater spotted the black Corvette heading south on Route 150, just south of Athens. Crater had heard minutes earlier that the Corvette had been stolen in Dover-Foxcroft in Piscataquis County.
The deputy began chasing the Corvette at speeds reaching up to 70 mph, with Paul C. Mills, 44, of Warren, Maine behind the wheel of the sports car.
Mills avoided two blockades in Skowhegan, first missing a police car at the intersection of Route 150 and Hilton Hill Road, then going around a spike mat that had been deployed at the intersection of Jewett Street and North Avenue.
That’s when Mills turned right onto Jewett Street, passing in front of ORA the Salon hairdressers, as patrons and stylists looked on.
“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 chase continued at speeds of 70 mph, going south on Madison Avenue before finally coming to an end when the Corvette swerved into the northbound lane of Island Avenue, hitting a 2006 Chrysler mini-van head on.
The driver of that vehicle, Norman Dion, 61, of Waterville, was transported to Redington-Fairview General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Mills also suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transferred for treatment to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Once released from the hospital, Mills faces multiple charges at Somerset County Jail in East Madison, including 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.
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.
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