Man charged in back-to-back crashes

Posted April 27, 2009, at 7:39 p.m.

NORTHPORT, Maine — A local man was arrested on a number of charges after two Saturday morning traffic accidents, but not before his father tried to take the blame for one of the wrecks, according to police.

Brandon Howard Elwell, 25, of Northport was charged with two counts of leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to report an accident and violation of conditions of release after a pair of accidents in Lincolnville around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Waldo County Deputy Scott Jones was dispatched to Slab City Road in Lincolnville on Saturday morning in response to a report of a vehicle off the road, nose-down in a stream.

When Jones arrived at the scene at 8 a.m., he was met by Walter Elwell, 59, of Northport. Jones said Elwell told him he lost control of his 1997 Nissan pickup truck when he reached down to pick up an empty energy drink can that had rolled under his feet. Elwell said the accident occurred at about 1:30 a.m.

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Chief Deputy Robert Keating said that when Jones examined the pickup he noticed that its front end and fenders had traces of white paint. Jones noted in his report that there were no white objects near the wrecked truck. A tow truck was called and the pickup was removed from the stream.

A short time later Jones was dispatched to the Youngtown Inn in Lincolnville after a report that sometime during the night a vehicle had driven through a flower garden, over a crabapple tree and into the inn’s sign.

When Jones arrived at the inn he saw that the sign was white and had traces of red paint where it was damaged. He also found a driver’s side mirror, a hubcap, eyeglasses and a garage receipt for repairs to a Nissan pickup on the ground near the sign.

The inn is about five miles from where the pickup was found in the stream.

Jones then went to the Elwell residence and explained to the elder Elwell what appeared to have happened. It was at that point, Keating said, that Elwell went into the house and returned with his son Brandon.

The younger Elwell told Jones he received a call on his cell phone at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday and he went off the road and into the sign when he glanced at the phone to see who was calling him. When Jones told Elwell he had other questions, Elwell said he preferred not to answer them, Keating said.

Elwell was taken to the Waldo County Jail, where he was being held without bail Monday for violating his conditions of release. Elwell was free on bail for other offenses at the time of the accident and one of his conditions was not to engage in criminal activity while free. Leaving the scene and failing to report an accident qualify as criminal activity, Keating said Monday.

Walter Elwell was not charged.


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