Video: Man Steals Car, Drives Wrong Way Down I95 Cops Say
Multiple law enforcement agencies across several towns came together to apprehend a man they say stole a car and then fled from authorities, this weekend. They say the man eventually went the wrong way down the interstate, endangering other motorists.
It all started early Sunday morning, Maine State Police Spokesperson Shannon Moss says, when Waterville Police received a report that someone had stolen a red 2011 Chevrolet Impala. Moss said that the cops were able to identify a suspect, based on some video surveillance, and went looking for 57-year-old Lawrence Knowles of Norridgewock.
Moss says they were not immediately able to find Knowles, but later that afternoon, got a tip from several witnesses, that a vehicle was pulled over on Interstate 95 near mile marker 117 southbound in Sidney and that the driver was passed out behind the wheel.
Naturally, they went to investigate, and that's when things took a dangerous turn.
"The vehicle matched the stolen vehicle's description. Troopers arrived, and upon approach, the driver of the vehicle fled southbound. Troopers confirmed it was the stolen vehicle. The driver’s identity remained unconfirmed and Troopers pursued the vehicle. Near mile 114 a Trooper conducted a P.I.T Maneuver (Precision Immobilization Technique), but the vehicle was not immobilized and fled northbound in the southbound Lane. Troopers avoided pursuing the vehicle the wrong way, going northbound to position themselves to stop the offending vehicle."
Moss says members of the Warden Service, Waterville Police, Fairfield Police, and Clinton Police worked together to try to safely slow traffic on the interstate while also setting up a roadblock.
Meanwhile, Noah Campbell, from Bangor, was driving along the highway at that same time, when he noticed some things that seemed off.
"My fiancé and I were traveling from the Bangor area to Freeport for some Christmas shopping. After passing the Kennedy Memorial Drive exit in Waterville, we noticed a trooper traveling north and thought nothing of it, followed by another in the median with their emergency lights on. That’s what caught my attention and made me decide to speed up a little bit to pass the tractor-trailer and move back over to the right-hand lane, which fortunately I did once I realized what was happening."
He says what took place next happened so quickly, that it was over in an instant.
"I saw the two cars in front of me move over to let another car merge onto the interstate, and suddenly swerve back into the right lane, and before I knew it there’s a red car racing down the side of the lane, going the opposite direction of us. It happened so fast it was hard to process what exactly happened in that moment's time. My fiancé turned her head around to get a better look, and could just see more cars in the passing lane having to swerve to get out of the red car's way."
Campbell caught the incident on his car's dashcam.
"I never thought I would experience something like this firsthand, especially not in Maine....Something like this makes me happy to have a dash cam, whether it’s for my own safety, helping someone else, or capture a crazy story that’s a once in a lifetime, and why I recommend it because it could help anyone out if needed when something happens."
Moss says there was some property damage and some injuries caused by the wrong-way driver.
"Two property damage crashes occurred during the incident. One of the crashes was when debris flew off the offending vehicle and caused damage to another vehicle’s paint. The other crash was when a vehicle was side-swiped by the offending vehicle causing the other vehicle to crash into a barrier. The driver of the vehicle that crashed into the barrier suffered minor injuries."
Knowles eventually exited the interstate in Fairfield, according to Moss, and was taken into custody, without incident, when authorities caught up with him on Howe Road. She says Knowles faces multiple charges, including Aggravated Reckless Conduct, Eluding an Officer, Passing a Roadblock, Falsifying Physical Evidence, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Crash, Driving to Endanger, and Operating After Suspension.
The Worst Intersections in Maine
Gallery Credit: Jeff Parsons
Beware of The Most Dangerous Roads in Maine
Gallery Credit: Lizzy Snyder