Police pursuit leads to crash in East Lyme - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police pursuit leads to crash in East Lyme

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Connecticut State Police arrested a 31-year-old man involved in a pursuit that ended when he crashed a stolen vehicle into the back of a propane truck Tuesday afternoon.

The chase started sometime Tuesday afternoon in Old Saybrook when police said one man stole a silver pickup truck.

Police followed the man, who was later identified as Paul Deckelman of Old Saybrook, onto Interstate 95 after he failed to stop for officers.

The truck crashed into a propane truck near the Route 85 intersection, which then landed in a nearby pond, police said.

According to police, an off-duty East Lyme officer, a Montville police trooper and a civilian dove into the water to rescue the fuel truck driver, who was still buckled into his seatbelt.

"He yelled for a knife. Somebody handed me a knife," said trooper Timothy Bentley. "I reached in, carefully cut him out."

The driver Jeffery Weed, 49, of Norwich was airlifted to Hartford Hospital and was seriously injured, according to police.

"We're going home to our families tonight," said Sgt. Wilfred Blanchette. "Hopefully, that gentleman will make a full recovery, go home to his family and the bad guy can go to jail."

Deckelman fought with police while being arrested. He had minor injuries and was taken to Backus Hospital where he was later arrested.

Deckelman was charged with reckless endangerment, third-degree assault, first-degree larceny and interfering with an officer. 

He was arraigned at Norwich Superior Court on Wednesday and is due back in court on July 11. Deckelman is being held on two $100,000 bonds.

The propane truck is from Osterman Propane LLC. based out of Whitinsville, Ma.

Route 161 Northbound at Route 85 in Montville was closed for a few hours as police investigated the crash.

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