NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – An early morning police chase that began in West Springfield ended with a fiery crash on I-91 North in Northampton Wednesday.
Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio told 22News troopers first tried to stop a Ford Mustang on I-91 North in West Springfield after determining its driver, 54-year-old Darryl Whitaker, of Chicopee, was wanted by Springfield Police for warrants and motor vehicle violations. Whitaker allegedly sped away from troopers toward Northampton and continued to refuse to stop.
Procopio said state police set up a tire deflation device ahead of the Whitaker, which eventually damaged the Mustang’s tires. The suspect allegedly continued driving for a short period of time with damaged tires before crashing into construction worker’s truck and a construction sign, which went airborne and hit a trooper’s cruiser.
Troopers had to pull Whitaker out of the Mustang, which caught fire immediately after the crash. He was taken to Baystate Medical Center with serious injuries.
A construction worker, a 41-year-old man from Gill, who was either in or near the truck hit by Whitaker was also hurt and taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital with minor injuries.
Whitaker is being charged with several outstanding warrants and motor vehicle offenses related to Wednesday morning’s pursuit. He is also a registered Level 3 sex offender in Chicopee.
I-91 North near Exit 18 in Northampton was closed for several hours due to the crash, but has since reopened to drivers.