Head-on collision closes Route 1 in Searsport

Posted Jan. 26, 2010, at 9:19 a.m.

SEARSPORT, Maine — Two men were taken to area hospitals after a nearly head-on collision Tuesday morning on U.S. Route 1 that also caused traffic on the busy coastal road to be rerouted for about an hour and 20 minutes.

Ryan Lawrence, 28, of Waldoboro and Peter Stearns, 52, of Hermon both were hurt when their pickup trucks collided “left front fender to essentially left front fender,” Police Chief Richard LaHaye said Tuesday evening. Both vehicles were demolished, he said.

Lawrence was the more badly injured, according to LaHaye, and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where he was “still being evaluated” Tuesday evening, according to a nursing supervisor there.

Stearns was treated at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast and then released, according to LaHaye.

“The accident is still under investigation,” LaHaye said, adding that road conditions were “just wet” and not icy at the time.

The men were driving pickup trucks in opposite directions when one driver began “swerving a little,” according to Morgan Sarro of Ellsworth, who was driving behind one of the trucks.

The trucks collided near the Cobb Road intersection, and Sarro and a car-pooling friend called 911, “jumped out of the car” and went to assist the men.

Sarro went to aid one of the men, whose truck door had been twisted shut in the impact.

“He said, ‘Please help me. Please open my door,’” Sarro said. “It was the worst feeling. … He was really worried about the other driver.”

Emergency crews from Belfast assisted at the scene and used an extrication device to get both Lawrence and Stearns out of their trucks, LaHaye said.

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