Police: Man leads trooper on chase, crashes with toddler in SUV

Michael Messier of Biddeford was arrested early Thursday morning after state police said he sped past a cruiser, crashed near the Saco exit of the Maine Turnpike and ran off, leaving his young daughter in the car.

SACO (WGME) -- A Biddeford man is accused of leading police on a high speed chase Wednesday night before crashing and fleeing the scene, leaving his toddler behind in the SUV.

Thursday was a day like any other for two-year-old Haylee. For her mom, Sabrina Lapointe, it was a huge sigh of relief.

"I mean, she's lucky she's alive, and she's lucky cause she's not gonna remember what happened," said Lapointe.

State Police said Haylee's father, Michael Messier, 25, was driving south on the Maine Turnpike shortly before 9 p.m. when he sped past a marked cruiser.

"A vehicle blew past me in the right lane at a high rate of speed, subsequently was clocked at 111 miles per hour," said Trooper Gavin Hagar.

Hagar said he turned on his lights and sirens, but Messier wouldn't stop. The chase went on for 12 miles.

"He did some evasive maneuvers in and out of lanes of traffic, cutting off cars in the process," said Hagar.

Police said Messier lost control when he tried to take exit 36 in Saco, sending the vehicle into the air before it landed in an embankment. It wasn't until troopers reached the car that they realized Haylee was in the back seat.

"Until they moved some of those air bags, they had no idea," said Lt. Eric Baker.

Even worse, police said Messier had already run off into the woods.

"I could hear rustling in the trees," said Hagar. "I never got a visual on him. He was gone that quick."

Police used a K9 to search until midnight, but couldn't find Messier. Around 3 a.m., they said he turned up on the side of the Turnpike, hypothermic, and trying to flag down a ride.

Messier had just been released from jail a day earlier after serving time for domestic violence. Now, he's charged with eluding a police officer and violating bail conditions.

"How do you drive 111 with your two-year-old in the car and then leave her?" said Lapointe.

Lapointe said she served Messier with a protection from abuse order before he was even booked into the jail, and she'll be seeking sole custody.

For now, she's holding her little girl tighter than ever. Haylee walked away from the crash with just a couple scratches.

Messier is being held at the York County Jail without bail. Police said their investigation is ongoing but they do expect more charges.

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