A Knox County Sheriff’s Office cruiser was destroyed and a deputy injured early Monday, June 6 while responding to a police chase in Rockland.

Deputy Nathaniel Jack was driving north on Route 73, just south of the North Shore Drive intersection, and was manipulating the cruiser’s emergency equipment,┬ásaid Sheriff Donna Dennison. The distraction contributed to him misjudging a corner and going off the road, she said.

The 2008 Dodge Charger cruiser went off the road on the right side and struck a telephone pole and tree. Dennison said Jack was wearing a seat belt and the air bag deployed. Dennison said she believes those devices and the cruiser saved him from serious injuries.

The crash occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Deputy Jack had been in South Thomaston when he responded to assist Rockland with a vehicle that was heading south on Route 73.

Detective Reginald Walker gave Deputy Jack a ride to Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport where he was treated and released for abrasions and pain to his ribs.

Maine State Police Trooper Scott Quintero is investigating the accident, the sheriff said.

Members of the Owls Head Fire Department and Rockland Emergency Medical Service responded.

“Emergency responders are constantly tasked with attention distractions when responding to emergency situations,” the sheriff stated. “Other vehicles, pedestrians, radio communications, and lights and sirens are constantly distracting emergency responders and sometimes, such as this, the emergency vehicle drivers are momentarily distracted, which can result in an accident. We are relieved that Deputy Jack or other citizens were not seriously hurt. The emergency vehicle is replaceable. People are not.”

The vehicle that was being chased in Rockland was stopped in Rockland. Rockland Deputy Police Chief Wally Tower said the incident in Rockland was a very brief chase in which the offending driver went around one curve in the road before stopping.

Thomas Yattaw, 41, of Owls Head was arrested for operating under the influence and operating without a license, and was issued a summons for failure to stop for a law enforcement officer.