MONTPELIER — A Berlin man is facing several criminal charges following a bizarre chase that allegedly began when he refused to pull over for police early Friday evening in Montpelier and ended some 20 minutes later when he drove off the road and into a culvert in Moretown.
In between being waved over by an officer in the parking lot of a Montpelier service station and being pried from his wrecked 2005 Ford Focus after it crashed on the Moretown Mountain Road, police claim Kerry Miller, 56, was spotted tossing beer cans out the window of his moving car, swerving into oncoming traffic, speeding and, at one point, ramming a cruiser that was involved in the pursuit.
According to Montpelier police, Miller is expected to be charged with drunken driving — his second offense — as well as driving with a criminally suspended license, attempting to elude police, gross, careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and aggravated assault when he is arraigned Monday in criminal court in Barre.
It all started shortly before 7 p.m. when a Montpelier police officer allegedly spotted a silver Ford Focus pull into the parking lot of Bob’s Sunoco with its driver’s side door wide open. The driver, who police said was later identified as Miller, allegedly ignored the officer’s attempt to wave him over, drove back out of the parking lot without using a turn signal and sped off with the driver’s side door still ajar.
The ensuing chase led officers out of Montpelier, through Berlin and Northfield on Route 12, and eventually into Moretown on the Moretown Mountain Road.
According to police, Miller allegedly hit speeds of up to 75 mph, while swerving across the centerline and tossing empties from his car. At one point, they claim, he rammed the rear of one of several police cruisers — this one from Montpelier — that were involved in the pursuit.
According to police, the chase ended shortly after Miller turned on to Moretown Mountain Road. Miller, who they say was driving approximately 25 mph at the time, drove off the south side of the road and slammed into a culvert.
Mad River Valley Ambulance responded to the scene and, using the Jaws of Life, ambulance workers were able to remove Miller from the car and transport him to Central Vermont Medical Center. Miller was processed for drunken driving at the Berlin hospital before being transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington for further medical evaluation, police said.
Montpelier police were assisted by Vermont State Police, Northfield Police and sheriff’s departments from Washington and Orange counties. None of the officers or members of the public were injured, police said.
In addition to the criminal charges he now faces, police said Miller will be issued several traffic tickets as a result of the incident.
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