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Hit-and-Run Suspect Arrested for Critically Injuring On-Duty Firefighter

March 05—Wareham police have arrested a suspect in a hit-and-run that critically injured an on-duty Onset firefighter during the storm Friday night.

Paul J. Durgin, 28, of 189 Farmersville Road, Sandwich, was arrested at a motel in Barnstable and is scheduled to be arraigned in Wareham District Court Monday afternoon on charges of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the vehicle).

A 25-year-old male firefighter from the Onset Fire Department remains in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital, according to police. Wareham paramedics provided preliminary treatment at the scene and transported him to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment for multiple serious injuries.

Authorities have not identified the firefighter, who was working outside his fire vehicle on Cranberry Highway (Routes 6 and 28) as hurricane-force winds and torrential rain battered the area. Police said a vehicle struck him and did not stop, continuing toward Bourne. The vehicle was later described as a gray Subaru hatchback.

Information submitted to the Wareham Police Department's Text-A-Tip computer program led Wareham police and Massachusetts State Police to the Knights Inn, a motel in Barnstable, where they found a gray or silver Subaru Forester hatchback with damage consistent with the collision, police said.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Durgin, who was the operator of the Forester, according to the Wareham Police Department. They took him into custody with help from Barnstable police.

Wareham Police Chief Kevin Walsh praised the work of investigators and thanked the people who provided valuable information through the Text-a-Tip app. That help from the public showed "great intolerance for such an irresponsible and inconsiderate act," the chief said in a press release.

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