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Man accused in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's plow truck crash appears in court

Jake Dalton, 23, is escorted out of a provincial courtroom in St. John's Monday afternoon, after making his first appearance before a judge in connection with a crash in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Sunday night.
Jake Dalton, 23, is escorted out of a provincial courtroom in St. John's Monday afternoon, after making his first appearance before a judge in connection with a crash in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Sunday night. - Tara Bradbury

Jake Dalton, 23, will undergo a seven-day psychiatric assessment

A 23-year-old man from St. John's has been sent for a week-long psychiatric assessment following a crash in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's that saw two cracked utility poles and an upside-down pickup in a ditch.

Jake Dalton wore hospital scrubs as he was escorted into a provincial courtroom by sheriffs Monday. When he was arrested at the crash scene the previous evening, he had been wearing only boxers.

Police say they originally responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Thorburn Road in St. John's and eventually caught up to a man driving a pickup truck with a plow on the front, the blade down on the dry pavement. When the driver refused to stop, police ended the pursuit.

The truck later crashed in a ditch on Beachy Cove Road, cracking two utility poles and landing upside-down, with the driver trapped inside.

Area residents told The Telegram they had been inside their home when they heard a loud crash and saw a flash of light before they went outside and found the overturned vehicle in front of their house.

The driver was able to get out of the vehicle after firefighters broke a window of the truck. He did not appear to have any serious injuries.

The truck was reportedly stolen earlier in the day from Toyota Plaza in St. John's.

Dalton has been charged with breaking into Toyota Plaza, theft from Toyota Plaza, mischief by damaging property, failing to stop for police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and three breaches of court orders, including that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour and not possess illegal substances.

After undergoing a lunchtime psychiatric assessment, Dalton was sent for a longer examination. He's scheduled to be back in court next Monday.

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