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Police chase ends in fiery crash in Paris and arrest of driver

Two people were injured after the vehicle they were in was forced off the road and into trees during the chase.

PARIS, Maine — Maine State Police have identified the driver accused of leading police on a chase that ended in a fiery crash in Paris on Friday evening. Two people were injured, one seriously, when the vehicle were in was forced off the road during the chase.  

A witness at the crash scene reportedly identified the suspect as Ethan Rioux-Poulios, 26, of Woodstock, according to the Maine State Police. 

Rioux-Poulios is on state probation for a 2019 manslaughter conviction, in which he crashed into a car on Route 26 in West Paris, killing the driver, then fled from an Oxford County deputy. Rioux-Poulios was later found at a home in South Paris. 

Maine State Police Lt. Kyle Tinsley told NEWS CENTER Maine the incident on Friday, March 4, started when the Oxford Police Department received a report around 5:10 p.m. of a gray Ford pickup truck driving erratically on Mechanic Falls Road to Maine State Route 26. Officers then saw the truck traveling northbound on Route 26 in heavy traffic, passing other cars recklessly with oncoming traffic. 

Oxford police tried to catch up with the truck. In the meantime, witnesses said they saw the truck pass the Walmart on Route 26 and continue to make unsafe passes until losing control and driving into an oncoming vehicle, causing that car to go off the road and into some trees on Oxford Street. 

Maine State Police said the driver of that car, Nicole Kumiega, 28, brought to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway before she was flown by Lifelight to Maine Medical Center. She was listed in "critical condition" as of Saturday morning. 

There was also a passenger in that car, who was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released.

By the time officers got to the crash, Rioux-Poulios had ran from the scene and stolen a car out of a nearby driveway. Maine State Police later found the car driving on Yeaton Swamp Road in Oxford, which is when the chase began. 

Maine State Police said Rioux-Poulios led officers from a few departments from Oxford into Otisfield through Norway back to Oxford. They were eventually able to stop him on Maine State Route 121 at Allen Hill Road.

Rioux-Poulios resisted arrest, while being taken into custody. He was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital for injuries from the initial crash on Oxford Street. He was then taken to Oxford County Jail. 

According to Maine State Police, Rioux-Poulios has been charged with:

  • Eluding
  • Reckless Conduct with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  • Leaving the Scene of a PI Accident
  • Driving to Endanger
  • Failure to Stop for Police
  • Refusing to Submit to Arrest
  • Exceeding Posted Speed 30+
  • Probation Violation

Anyone who witnessed these incidents, whose car was damaged from any of these crashes, or who has videos or pictures of the events is asked to contact State Police Troop B Investigators Trooper Adam Fillebrown and Trooper Jason Wing at 207-657-3030. 

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