Driver arrested after miles-long pursuit on Mass Pike, crash in Palmer

Andrew Leeman of Westbrook, Maine arrested following pursuit that began in Charlton

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – A man from Maine who allegedly tried to avoid a traffic stop in Worcester County led police on a chase that didn’t end until after he crashed his SUV in Palmer.

State Police Lt. Tom Ryan told 22News that Andrew Leeman, 25, of Westbrook, Maine is now facing multiple charges in connection to the pursuit, ranging from reckless driving to speeding and failing to stop for a police officer.

Ryan says that a trooper attempted to pull Leeman over for speeding at around 12:15 Tuesday morning as he was driving his Toyota Highlander on the Mass Pike westbound in Charlton. The suspect would not stop, however, and Ryan says that Leeman kept driving for miles before finally getting off the highway at Exit 8 in Palmer.

With the suspect off the highway, Ryan says Palmer police were able to slow him down by putting down tire deflation devices. Near the intersection of Main and Thorndike Streets, Leeman swerved sharply left; going over an embankment and a parking lot before hitting a snowbank.

Ryan says Leeman then got out of the car and started running, but Palmer police were able to catch him and place him under arrest. He was transferred into the custody of state police and held on $740 bail pending his arraignment later Tuesday in Dudley District Court.

Leeman is facing the following charges:

    • Reckless operation of a motor vehicle
    • Unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle
    • Speeding
    • Failure to stay within marked lanes
    • Failure to stop for a police officer
    • Failure to stop for a red light
    • Unsafe passing

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