A Massachusetts man was arrested Tuesday after leading police on a wild car chase through two towns that ended in a serious crash that injured the driver and four others.
Alexander Cruz, 24, of Taunton, will be arraigned Wednesday in Taunton District Court on more than 20 charges, including four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of negligent operation of a vehicle, according to the Bristol district attorney's office.
Police said the chase began shortly after 11 a.m. on Route 138 in Easton after the driver of a gray Nissan Maxima - later identified as Cruz - failed to stop when an officer tried to pull him over for having an expired inspection sticker.
The chase - which police said reached speeds of 80 mph - ended in Raynham a short time later when Cruz hit a tire deflation device in the road and collided with at least two other vehicles near the intersection of Route 138 and Britton Street. State police said the driver nearly hit a state police cruiser during the pursuit.
"It looked like an atomic bomb went off," witness Chris Whaton of Raynham said.
A female passenger in Cruz's car suffered serious injuries in the crash and was taken by medical helicopter to a local hospital. An update on her condition was not immediately available.
Three other people who were in a car that was hit by Cruz's vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to authorities.
Cruz was also taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released into police custody.
"I heard this god awful crash and I said to my husband, 'Oh my god, what was that?'" witness Barbara Mariorenzi of Raynham said.
At least three ambulances responded to the scene, along with fire and police from several neighboring communities.
Motorists traveling on Route 138 north into Raynham were urged to avoid the area for a time due to the accident, but the road has since been reopened.
It's unclear if Cruz has an attorney. Raynham police said Cruz also had three outstanding arrest warrants in connection with three separate incidents out of Taunton District Court.