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Derby Line woman faces multiple charges after high-speed chase and crash

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NEWPORT — Cristina Fortin, a 49-year-old resident of Derby Line, pleaded not guilty to several charges related to a police pursuit that ended in a crash on April 14. The charges include felony negligent driving while eluding an officer, reckless or grossly negligent driving, excessive speed, and several other related offenses.

The incident began when Newport City Police Patrolman Jonathan Morin observed Fortin driving a pickup truck on Route 5 at approximately 2:32 p.m. Recognizing Fortin and aware of her suspended license from a prior vehicle check, Morin attempted to stop her. Fortin reportedly fled, accelerating to speeds of about 80 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone.

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The pursuit escalated as Fortin maneuvered dangerously, passing a vehicle on the crest of a hill and later colliding with a telephone pole at the Derby Mobile Home Park.

Despite the collision, she continued driving erratically until she crashed into a storage unit.

Fortin sustained a head injury but refused medical treatment at the scene. A breath test confirmed she was not under the influence of alcohol, though she consented to a blood test to check for drugs.

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The court has set a $5,000 surety bond following her plea.

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