Old Saybrook man arrested for stealing truck, causing accident in Montville

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Montville — An Old Saybrook man who allegedly stole a pickup truck in Old Saybrook and engaged police in pursuit Tuesday crashed the truck at the intersection of routes 85 and 161 in the Chesterfield section of Montville, sending a second pickup into a small pond on its roof with the driver trapped inside, police said.

The accident closed traffic near the intersection for several hours and sent one person to Hartford Hospital by Life Star helicopter and another to The William W. Backus Hospital by ambulance.

State police said in an incident report that an Old Lyme police officer spotted Paul F. Deckelman, 31, of 97 Elm St., driving erratically on Interstate 95 North shortly after the pickup truck he was driving was reported stolen out of Old Saybrook.

Deckelman engaged the officer in pursuit and exited the highway into East Lyme, where he continued north on Route 161 and then engaged state troopers from the Montville barracks in pursuit.

He hit a second pickup truck that was traveling north on Route 85, sending that truck rolling off the road, police said. The truck came to a rest on its roof in the pond, trapping the driver inside, submerged in water. Troopers and East Lyme police officers extricated the driver and pulled him to safety.

Deckelman was taken into custody following a brief struggle with troopers. He will be charged with numerous motor vehicle and criminal charges, though specific charges were unavailable late Tuesday.

The investigation is ongoing.


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