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WILTON -- A Dutchess County man was in Albany Medical Center on Tuesday after the Monday night chase that ended with a crash on the Northway near Exit 16, police said.

Matthew J. Ripo, 22, of Wappingers Falls was hospitalized after the nearly 60-mile high-speed chase that began in Columbia County and lasted 45 minutes before ending in the Northway median between exits 15 and 16.

State Police Capt. John McCarthy said Ripo's injuries were not considered life-threatening, but he suffered numerous broken bones and will likely be hospitalized for several days.

He was pinned under the truck he was driving, which burst into flames after it rolled over. McCarthy said several state troopers used fire extinguishers from their patrol cars to put out the blaze before Ripo could be freed.

"He's lucky to be alive," McCarthy said.

Police said Rip drove over 100 mph on numerous interstate highways and highway spurs as he tried to evade police who were seeking him for allegedly trying to hit a woman with a Ford F-350 pickup truck in the Dutchess County town of LaGrange.

Authorities gave the following account of the chase and crash;

State Police in Dutchess County were seeking Ripo after receiving an 8:50 p.m. report from a woman that he had tried to hit her with his pickup.

A radio bulletin was issued for the vehicle, and troopers spotted it at 9:40 p.m. on the Taconic Parkway in Austerlitz. The driver would not stop, and the chase proceeded to the Berkshire Spur of I-90, then proceeded to I-90, I-787, Route 7 and the Northway.

It ended just before 10:30 p.m. Monday between exits 15 and 16 when the driver lost control of the truck as he tried to pass another vehicle.

State Police supervisors monitored the case throughout, and in light of the time of day, conditions of the highway and light traffic, allowed the pursuit to continue.

"Sergeants from Troop K and Troop G were monitoring it the whole time," McCarthy said. "This is the first time I can remember a chase ever lasting from Troop K to Saratoga County."

State Police do not know if Ripo was familiar with the region, or why he drove north.

Ripo had not been charged as of Tuesday as he was hospitalized, but will be charged with numerous criminal counts and vehicle and traffic charges in multiple municipalities, McCarthy said.


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