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Driver charged after crashing into, snapping utility pole

HOULTON, Maine — A 41-year-old Houlton man faced multiple charges following a late night automobile accident Thursday.

Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca said Friday morning that police summoned Jason Suitter of Houlton with multiple charges after he reportedly struck a utility pole on Park Street around 10:30 p.m. and then fled the scene.

Police said Suitter was travelling at a high rate of speed in a Chevrolet Trailblazer on Park Street when he struck the pole near the intersection of Fair Street. The force of the impact snapped the utility pole at the base and split the pole into several pieces.

The driver still managed to drive the vehicle away and police later located both at a residence on Heyward Street, according to DeLuca. Officer Ben Boutilier, the department’s trained drug recognition expert, was called in to evaluate the individual and Suitter was charged with operating under the influence (narcotics), leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, and operating after his license was suspended or revoked.

Speed was believed to be a contributing factor in the crash, the police chief said. The incident was reported by multiple individuals in the Park Street area. Suitter’s SUV sustained extensive damage, the chief said. Suitter, however, was not injured in the crash, DeLuca said.

Members of the Houlton Water Company were on the scene Friday morning and had installed a new utility pole by 11 a.m.

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