Three Attleboro firefighters work to free a man pinned inside a Lexus that rolled over after it was hit on Route 1A in South Attleboro on Sunday afternoon. A Rhode Island man fleeing police allegedly struck a second car, which was propelled over the concrete divider into a third vehicle. (Photo by Stu Skerker)
Driver faces 17 charges after three-car accident on Route 1A in South Attleboro
ATTLEBORO - A routine traffic stop on Route 1A led to a three-car crash that injured nine people, and a foot chase through rain-soaked woods along the Attleboro-Pawtucket line Sunday.
The suspect, Todd Brown of Pawtucket, was arrested on 17 charges, some of which were drug related.
While fleeing police, Brown's car allegedly struck a second car, which was propelled over the concrete divider and into a third vehicle.
One vehicle landed on its roof.
The occupants of the two vehicles were taken to local hospitals. None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, police said Sunday night.
South Attleboro Assembly of God Associate Pastor Joseph Dockter holds the head of a girl who was in one of the cars steady while city firefighters tend to another victim. (Photo by Stu Skerker)
The crash, which happened in front of the South Attleboro Assembly of God Church shortly after 4:15 p.m., drew dozens of people trying to help those injured, Slocum Street resident Marc Corneau said.
"Everybody stopped immediately to get the kids out," said Corneau, one of the witnesses.
Many of the good samaritans brought umbrellas to the scene as showers began to pour down.
"We were just trying to keep them comfortable and reassure them," Corneau said. "There was probably at least 20 to 30 people. Everybody tried to keep everybody calm. The poor little girls were screaming for their dad."
Church Associate Pastor Joseph Dockter said he was in his office when he heard what he described as a loud boom.
Dockter said he ran out with his son Daniel, 5, to help.
Dockter said he served as a Spanish translator for an injured woman and her two children while firefighters extricated her husband using the Jaws of Life cutting tool.
The events started with a routine traffic stop around 4:15 p.m.
Attleboro Officer Kevin Noble stopped a white Toyota Corolla driven by Brown on Newport Avenue (Route 1A) by Lockwood Avenue.
Noble was about to arrest Brown for driving with a revoked license when Brown sped off, police said.
However, Noble radioed dispatch that he would not pursue Brown due to heavy traffic and heavy rain.
Noble then saw Brown's car speed south down Route 1A, where it struck a vehicle in the southbound lane by Park Circle, near the Interstate 95 interchange.
The second car then crossed the divider and struck a third vehicle heading north.
Brown then allegedly drove over the concrete divider and onto the I-95 south ramp. Heavily damaged, his car finally came to a stop.
Police said Brown then ran into the woods, where a Massachusetts State Police dog and Attleboro and Pawtucket police headed out, finding him moments later.
The crash reduced Route 1A heading north at the Cardi's traffic light to the left travel lane while police and firefighters handled the incident.
Assisting Noble in the investigation are Officers Tim Cook Jr., Kevin Fuoco and Richard Pierce Jr., and Detectives Richard Campion, James Cote and Russell Castro.
Brown was held on bail at Attleboro Police headquarters overnight.
He will be arraigned in Attleboro District Court today.