Woodstock Man Arrested after Scary Car Chase in Oxford County
A Woodstock man, already out on probation for manslaughter, is now facing charges for a police pursuit that ran through several towns.
How Did the Police Pursuit Begin?
Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss says the man arrested in connection with this pursuit is Ethan Rioux-Poulios, 26, of Woodstock. The incident began shortly after 5:00 Friday afternoon when Oxford Police received a report of a Ford F-150 pickup truck that was driving erratically on the Mechnic Falls Road in Oxford. Responding officers located the pickup northbound, near their police station on Route 26. The truck was seen passing vehicles recklessly, with oncoming traffic. As police pulled onto the roadway and tried to catch up to the truck, it was seen by witnesses striking other vehicles as it continued north.
Was Anyone Hurt as a Result of the Chase?
Rioux-Poulios turned onto Oxford Street where witnesses say he continued making unsafe passes until he lost control of the truck. The F-150 struck an oncoming Ford Escape, causing it to go off the road and into some trees. When police arrived, the F-150 was on fire and Rioux-Poulios had fled the scene. Until this point, police did not know who was driving the pickup, but a witness at the scene was able to identify him to police.
The driver of the Ford Escape, 28-year-old Nicole Kumiega of Portland was first taken by PACE ambulance to Stephens Memorial Hospital, and then transport by Life Flight to Maine Medical Center in Portland in critical condition. A passenger in the vehicle was taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released.
Oxford Police called for backup from the Maine State Police, Oxford Sheriff's Department, and police from Norway and Paris. As they searched the area for Rioux-Poulios, they learned a vehicle had been stolen nearby. State Troopers spotted the stolen vehicle on Yeaton Swamp Road and another pursuit began, traveling out of Oxford, into Otisfield, and into Norway, where Troopers attempted to use spike mats to disable the vehicle. The vehicle continued back into Oxford where Troopers were finally able to safely disable the stolen vehicle.
Rioux-Poulios got out of the vehicle but continued to resist as he was being taken into custody. He was transported to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway by Oxford Rescue for injuries sustained in the initial crash on Oxford Street.
What Was Rioux-Poulios on Probation for and what charges is Rioux-Pou Facing?
At the time of this incident, Rioux-Poulios was on state probation for a 2019 manslaughter conviction for crashing into a vehicle on Route 26 in West Paris while fleeing from an Oxford County Deputy. The driver of the vehicle he hit died in the crash.
Rioux-Poulios is now facing the following charges:
- Eluding arrest
- Reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon
- Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
- Leaving the scene of a personal injury accident
- Driving to endanger
- Failure to stop for police
- Refusing to submit to arrest
- Exceeding the posted speed by 30+ mph
- Violation of his probation
Anyone who may have witnessed the incidents, anyone who has damage from this pursuit, or may have video or pictures is asked to contact Maine State Police Troop B Investigators Trooper Adam Fillebrown and Trooper Jason Wing at 207-657-3030.