Two people were injured, one critically, in a fiery hit-and-run crash Friday evening in Paris, Maine that led to a police chase in two neighboring towns.

Shortly after 5 p.m., Oxford Police received several reports of a gray Ford pickup truck driving erratically at a high rate of speed in heavy traffic on Mechanic Falls Road then north on Route 26.

The Sun Journal reports as officers were preparing to give chase, they learned of a collision on Oxford Street in Paris. Police and emergency crews arrived to find the pickup truck abandoned and on fire and 28-year-old Nicole Kumiega of Portland trapped in the wreckage of her Ford Escape.

Maine State Police say Kumiega suffered serious injuries, which are considered life-threatening. She was taken by ambulance to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway then transferred by LifeFlight to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

A male passenger was also injured in the crash and was treated at the local hospital.

Police chase in Oxford and Norway leads to arrest of suspect in hit-and-run

Police said the driver of the pickup had run into the woods before they arrived. A short time later, it was reported he stole a car from a nearby driveway and headed towards Norway.

Maine State Police later spotted the stolen car on Yeaton Swamp Road in Oxford and attempted to pull it over.

The driver led police on a chase into Norway and back to Oxford.  An officer was able to use a pit maneuver to stop the vehicle on Route 121 at Allen Hill Road. The suspect was arrested and taken to the hospital to be treated for a cut on his head and other minor injuries.

The man was identified as 26-year-old Ethan Rioux-Poulios of Woodstock, Maine. Rioux-Poulios was on probation for a 2019 manslaughter conviction after he crashed into a vehicle on Route 26 in West Paris, killing the driver, while fleeing from an Oxford County Deputy, according to Maine Public Safety Department spokesperson Shannon Moss.

Rioux-Poulios faces numerous charges and is being held at the Oxford County Jail.

State Police say there were other “side-swipe style crashes” related to this incident. The crash site on Oxford Street was shut down for several hours Friday night.

Police and fire departments from Paris, Norway and Oxford, along with PACE Rescue, Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police responded to the crash and/or assisted in the pursuit of the suspect.

The investigation continues.

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