METHUEN — A man who was fleeing from police late Saturday morning drove the wrong way on an exit ramp and crashed into another vehicle, causing injuries to both occupants, authorities said.
Joseph Goffinet, 44, of 45 Green Road, Raymond, N.H., was arrested and charged with being a fugitive from New Hampshire justice, assault with an automobile, shoplifting, unlicensed driving and nine other motor vehicle offenses. He was held without bail pending his arraignment in Lawrence District Court today.
Goffinet allegedly stole merchandise from the Walmart at 70 Pleasant Valley St., according to Methuen police. The incident was reported at 11:29 a.m. and police pursued Goffinet, who was driving a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle.
Goffinet headed south on Interstate 495 and crossed the town line into Andover. He then left 495 at the exit ramp for Interstate 93 southbound, state police said.
Goffinet drove the wrong way on the ramp and struck a 2005 Toyota Tacoma driven by Joanne Lawson, 60, of North Andover, at 11:40 a.m., according to state police. Paul Lawson, 63, was a passenger in the Tacoma. Both Lawsons were taken to Lawrence General Hospital, where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, state Trooper Nicole Morrell said.
Goffinet was also treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, the trooper said. State police assisted Methuen officers at the accident scene and three ambulances responded.
Methuen police Officer Stephen Hatem arrested Goffinet.
These are the other motor vehicle charges filed against Goffinet:
Failure to stop for police
Operating a motor vehicle recklessly so as to endanger
Marked lanes violation
Failure to yield at an intersection
Operating a motor vehicle in a breakdown lane
Failure to signal
Unsafe lane change
Failure to keep left when passing