Man hospitalized after Ledyard police pursuit ends in crash in Norwich

Members of the Norwich  Fire Department extricate a person from a car after it crashed into a pole, snapping it, on the night of Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (Courtesy of Norwich Fire Department)
Members of the Norwich Fire Department extricate a person from a car after it crashed into a pole, snapping it, on the night of Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (Courtesy of Norwich Fire Department)

Norwich — A police chase that began in Ledyard ended in Norwich Sunday night as the driver crashed into a pole, injuring himself and leaving some residents without power.

According to Ledyard police, an officer attempted to pull a white car over in the business district of Gales Ferry about 9:45 p.m. Police said the officer had spotted an equipment violation.

According to police, the driver acted as though he was going to stop, but instead sped off northbound on Route 12. The officer, police said, pursued the vehicle into Norwich, where it crashed into a pole just south of the viaduct.

Police identified the driver as Derrick R. Helme, 38, whose has a last known address in Norwich. Charges against him are pending. 

Police closed Laurel Hill Avenue between Water and Summer streets after the crash, which happened just before 10 p.m. By 8:30 a.m. Monday, police had reopened a lane of the road, although delays remained.

According to Norwich Public Utilities spokesman Chris Riley, the pole was owned by Frontier Communications. Riley said about 900 people were without power as crews worked to replace it. As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, all power was restored.

Members of the Norwich Fire Department helped extricate Helme from the car. Firefighters said American Ambulance transported him to The William W. Backus Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

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