Police pursuit ends in crash, injuring officer



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MILTON POLICE OFFICER Reginald “Andy” Crone was critically injured last Sunday afternoon, March 27, in a crash on Willey Road in Wakefield. Crone was in pursuit of a white GMC pickup with temporary plate number 587830 which he had stopped on Church Street in Milton. (Mellisa Ferland photo) (click for larger version)
March 31, 2011
WAKEFIELD — A Milton police officer is recovering in Maine Medical Center following a violent crash with a large maple tree.

On Sunday afternoon, Officer Reginald "Andy" Crone stopped a white GMC pickup truck with a temporary license plate (587830) at approximately 1:27 p.m. on Church Street in Milton. As Crone stepped out of his cruiser, the truck took off. Crone pursued the truck, following it onto Willey Road, a paved road that connects Milton and Wakefield. The pursuit ended just over the Wakefield town line when Crone's cruiser collided with the tree.

Crone was taken from the crash site by ambulance and then airlifted to Maine Medical Center from a helicopter landing site near Exit 18 of the Spaulding Turnpike.

Milton Police Chief Mark McGowan spoke to Crone on Tuesday and said while the officer is doing well, he has a long road of recovery ahead of him. Crone's injuries include a broken femur, several broken ribs, cuts and bruises. McGowan said, thankfully, Crone was wearing his seatbelt when he crashed.

Crone's family includes his wife and three young children. A fund has been established to help the family with expenses related to Crone's recovery. Donations can be mailed to Milton Public Safety Association, c/o Officer Crone, PO Box 588, Milton, NH 03851.

As of press time, officers had a "person of interest" and were closing in on identifying the driver of the pickup truck but were not ready to release the name. It is unclear at this point whether the driver of the pickup knew that Officer Crone had crashed behind him.

Wakefield Police officers arrived quickly at Sunday's scene as they were already en route to assist Crone with the pursuit and then quickened their response when Crone did not answer dispatchers trying to check the status of the pursuit on the police radio. In addition to Wakefield, police from Milton, Carroll County Sheriff's Department and N.H. State Police Troop E all responded to the crash scene as well as Milton and Wakefield fire and medical personnel.

The N.H. State Police Technical Accident Reconstruction (TAR) Team shut down Willey road for an extended period of time to take measurements, photographs, and investigate the crash.

Crone has been with the Milton Police Department for three years, according to Chief McGowan, and was an officer with Farmington Police Department prior to that.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has any further information is asked to call Trooper Ricardo Brazee, NHSP Troop E at 323-3333, or the Wakefield Police Department at 522-3232.

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