Man in crash 2 days after wife falls in park

Posted Aug. 23, 2009, at 5:28 p.m.

HOLDEN, Maine — David Silver and his family are having a rough vacation.

Just two days after his wife was injured in a scary fall at Acadia National Park, Silver and his two young children were in a motor vehicle accident early Thursday evening.

Neither Silver nor his children were hurt, but the 51-year-old Lexington, Mass., man worried that the ordeal would delay his getting back to see his wife, who’s recovering in a Bangor hospital.

“All that matters is that she’s OK,” Silver said Thursday from the parking lot at G&M Variety in Holden, his damaged Toyota SUV blocking traffic on Route 1A. “But this is a little unlucky.”

Two other vehicles were involved in the accident near the intersection of Routes 1A and 46, according to Holden police Officer Chris Greeley.

A Chrysler minivan driven by 17-year-old Kevin O’Neal of Dedham apparently pulled out of Upper Dedham Road, which runs parallel to Route 46, onto Route 1A heading north directly into the path of a southbound pickup truck driven by James King, 54, Greeley said at the scene.

O’Neal tried to avoid a collision with the truck by speeding up and merging into the lane to his right. Instead, the van sideswiped Silver’s vehicle and then struck the truck anyway, Greeley said.

O’Neal’s sister Cathy O’Neal, 19, was in the back seat of the van and was pinned by the impact. Fire and rescue personnel removed her from the damaged vehicle and took her by ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, the same hospital where Silver’s wife, Simonetta Raffioni, 51, is being treated for pelvic and spinal cord fractures.

Cathy O’Neal suffered leg and head injuries, Greeley said, but they were not considered life-threatening. The siblings’ mother, Carla O’Neal, 38, also was a passenger in the van but was not seriously injured.

King and his 14-year-son also were uninjured.

The three vehicles all had extensive damage, but only the van was demolished, Greeley said.

Silver, who waited patiently for police to finish their investigation to see whether he could drive his SUV to Bangor, was surprisingly calm about the ordeal. His 9-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son also seemed more concerned about their mother than the fact that they had been in an accident.

Despite the bad luck, the Massachusetts man said the family would consider vacationing in Maine again.

“Everyone has been so nice to us,” he said.

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