A 31-year-old Old Saybrook man was arrested after stealing a pickup truck, leading police on a chase and crashing into a propane truck Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Route 161 and Route 85 in Montville, according to police.
Paul Deckelman, of 97 Elm Street in Old Saybrook, was arrested and charged with first-degree larceny and interfing with an officer: simple assault. He is being held on $50,000 bond, police said.
According to state police, troopers received a report of a stolen vehicle in Old Saybrook around 2:30 p.m. The troopers spotted the pickup truck on I-95 northbound in East Lyme and began chasing the vehicle onto Route 161.
The truck reached Route 85 in Montville when it ran a red light and collided with the propane truck. The propane truck rolled over into the pond, where it came to rest on its roof, police said.
The force of the crash sent the propane truck and its driver into a nearby pond, according to police. Two state troopers and a police officer from East Lyme cut the driver out of his seatbelt, pulled him from the truck and dragged him to shore, police said. The driver was seriously injured and flown to the hospital by LifeStar, according to police.
Deckelman was transported to Backus Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was arrested immediately following his release, police said.
Crews from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to the scene of the accident to deal with the propane in the tank of the truck.
Police are actively investigating.