New Brunswick backhoe driver takes police on low-speed chase

RCMP say the driver was only travelling about 10 kilometres per hour, but didn't stop until police used a spikebelt

FREDERICTON – A 27-year-old former Alberta man faces seven charges following an early morning low-speed pursuit in New Brunswick involving a backhoe.

Thomas Therrien Chiasson, of no fixed address, was arrested Tuesday morning.

RCMP Const. Derek Black says police were called around 3:40 a.m. about a backhoe on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Fredericton that was impeding traffic and didn’t have any lights on.

Black says the driver was only travelling about 10 kilometres per hour, but didn’t stop until police used a spikebelt.

Police say alcohol is believed to have been a factor.

Chiasson is charged with evading police officers, impaired driving, refusing a breathalyzer demand, possession of stolen property over $5,000, mischief over $5,000, dangerous driving, and breach of a condition imposed by a court in British Columbia.

He has been remanded until a bail hearing Wednesday in Fredericton.

Black says the backhoe damaged some asphalt and a number of guardrails over a distance of about 15 kilometres.

Ross Mathers, general manager of Maritime Road Development Corp., the private company that maintains that section of highway, says there is damage in about 10 locations.

Damage is estimated at about $15,000 and he says repairs have begun.

The backhoe was also damaged.

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