Distracted driver clips school-warning sign

Posted May 12, 2009, at 10:12 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A woman who reached for a cigarette while driving her car Monday afternoon ran into a flashing school light system and caused almost $12,000 in damage.

Marnie McMahan, 40, of Owls Head was driving south on Broadway at about 1 p.m. when she got distracted and went straight where the road veers to the right, according to a Rockland Police Department report.

“She jumped the curb — that got her attention,” said Rockland Patrol Officer Lloyd Daniels.

McMahan drove her 1994 Saturn into the school zone flashing light system near the Rockland District Middle School. The school day had not ended yet and there were no pedestrians in the area. McMahan tried to get her car out of fourth gear to stop it, but it took 140 feet before the car came to a halt.

“What scared the dickens out of her was hitting the wooden post with the sign attached, and having that fall on top of her car,” Daniels said.

McMahan’s car was a total loss, and she had “minor bumps” on her forehead from striking the steering wheel but refused to be taken to the hospital, according to the police report.

Daniels said that the computerized flashing light system could cost $15,000, and that he gave a “conservative” damage estimate of $8,000.

He estimated damage to her car at $3,700 and that there was $300 in damage to a curb on Thomaston Street. No charges have been filed.

acurtis@bangordailynews.net

338-3034

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