Driving under influence charged following high-speed UTV chase

golden hour

TOWN OF CROGHAN — A 41-year-old was charged with driving under the influence after leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase while operating a UTV on Erie Canal Road Saturday night.

Lewis County Sheriff’s deputies said patrols noticed two sports utility vehicles turn onto Erie Canal Road from Route 812, and attempted to initiate a traffic stop at 10:19 p.m. Both vehicles then fled at a high rate of speed down Erie Canal Road.

One of the UTV drivers later turned off onto Mount Tom Road and a deputy continued to pursue the other driver onto Belfort Road.

The driver on Belfort attempted to make a left turn onto Effley Falls Road, but was unable to negotiate the curve and lost control, causing the UTV to roll over, coming tor rest on its side.

As deputies said they were interviewing the driver, identified as Joshua J. Nortz, 41, of Soft Maple Road following the crash, they detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He subsequently failed field sobriety tests, deputies said.

Nortz was transported to Lewis County Public Safety Building where he refused chemical testing. He was then charged with felony driving while intoxicated, refusal to take a chemical test and 10 other vehicle and traffic violations.

Nortz was arraigned in Lewis County CAP Court and released on his own recognizance.

State police, Croghan Fire Department, Lewis County Search and Rescue and Lachausse Towing assisted.

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