Emergency Dial 911, Portsmouth Police Department, 3 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Tel: (603) 427-1500

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Reference: Police Pursuit

Date of Release: September 22nd, 2005

On Wednesday September 21st, 2005 at approx 4:40pm the Portsmouth Police Department received a cell phone call from a motorist who was following a SUV that was being driven dangerously on Brackett Road in Rye heading towards Portsmouth. This vehicle was reportedly "all over the roadway" and believed to be driven by a drunk driver. Traffic was heavy with the evening commute on Route 1 and Rt 33.

As the cell phone caller continued to follow this SUV giving police dispatch updates on roads they were on and direction of travel, Sgt. McQuate was able to intercept this SUV at Peverly Hill Road and Lafayette Road (US Route 1). Sgt. McQuate observed the driver to look like she was close to falling asleep or had fallen asleep and immediately activated his emergency blue lights and siren to summon the driver to pull to the side of the road and stop. He described the driver as having her eyes shut and head down.

The SUV did not stop and Sgt. McQuate observed this vehicle to drive up onto the sidewalk and back onto the roadway where it then crossed over into the opposite lane of travel on Peverly Hill Road. The SUV continued to be driven extremely dangerously and at one point went off the side of the roadway and abruptly back into the travel lane. The SUV's speed fluctuated from 10 mph to 35 mph as it continued on Peverly Hill Road towards Rt 33. Attempts to stop this vehicle by signally failed and Sgt. McQuate radioed to the other responding patrol cruisers to assist by deploying tire deflation devices known as "Stop Sticks". These "Stop Sticks" contain hollow spikes that puncture a tire and deflate them after being driven over.

Officers Kotsonis and Hester after first stopping traffic on Route 33 to make sure the intersections were safe and clear for this SUV to travel thru, set out these stop sticks across the roadway on Route 33 and Sherburne Road.

The SUV continued to be driven in a dangerous manner, going thru stop signs, weaving into the opposite lane of travel, driving off the roadway nearly missing other cars head on, trees, bushes and fences. The SUV did drive over the "Stop Sticks" and almost immediately the tires began to lose air and flatten. All 4 tires of the SUV became flat within a minute and the SUV stopped on Rt 33 at the I-95 Northbound On Ramp.

As the officers approached the SUV is was apparent that something was wrong with the driver. As her head bobbed back and forth and her eyes rolled uncontrollably, the officers determined that she was suffering from a diabetic reaction and an ambulance summoned from the Portsmouth Fire Department. After being treated for her medical condition, she agreed to take a breath test and it was determined that she had no alcohol to drink and that the cause of this very dangerous driving was related to her diabetic reaction.

The driver, whose name we are not releasing because this is a medical matter, was extremely appreciative of the officers actions and grateful that they had stopped her from hitting someone. She was later transported to the Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

The SUV was a 2000 Nissan XTERRASE color Silver.

The Portsmouth Police Department appreciates those motorist who quickly obeyed the officers commands to stop thereby making the roadway safer especially the cell phone caller who made us aware of this dangerous driving to begin with.

We encourage the public to report all dangerous driving by calling our local emergency line a 436-2145 or statewide 911.


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 Emergency Dial 911, Portsmouth Police Department, 3 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Tel: (603) 427-1500