APPLETON, Maine — For the third time in the past seven years, a car crash on Sennebec Road near Sunrise Lane has claimed the life of a person not yet 30 years old.
The latest accident, which occurred Friday afternoon, is being investigated by Maine State Police. It happened around 3:30 p.m. when the driver, Brian Boody, 28, of Appleton, lost control of a 2001 Saab that he was driving north on Sennebec Road, according to Trooper Jeremy Wesbrock. The car went off the left side of the road, striking a large tree before it came to a stop in a small pond a few feet away just across the road from Sunrise Lane.
The passenger in the vehicle, Morgan Wadsworth, 24, of Rockland, died at the accident scene, Wesbrock said.
Boody suffered significant injuries in the accident and initially was taken by ambulance to Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Wesbrock said. Boody later was transferred by ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he remained in stable condition Saturday, the trooper said.
According to residents, there have been two other fatal accidents along the same stretch of road in recent years. In November 2006, Ian Butler, 25, of Appleton died on Sennebec Road when his truck hit a tree. In July 2003, Lynette Athearn, 22, of Union died when a car she was driving left the road and struck a tree in the front yard of resident Gail MacDonald.
MacDonald said Saturday that drivers often speed along Sennebec Road past her property.
“It’s just so awful,” she said of Friday’s accident. “She was too young. I hope he’s OK.”
MacDonald said she was at home Friday afternoon when she heard the latest crash outside her house. She said she had just gotten off her computer when she heard the loud thud of the car striking the tree across the road. She said she did not hear the sound of squealing brakes before she heard the impact.
MacDonald said she knew right away what the sound meant.
“I just heard the ‘thunk,’” MacDonald said, taking a break from doing landscape work around her front door. “When you’ve heard it once, you don’t need to hear it again.”
A local man who stopped at the accident scene Saturday afternoon but declined to give his name pointed north down the road toward where Butler’s fatal accident occurred in 2006. He said the tree Butler’s truck hit was just past a white mailbox visible from Friday’s accident scene.
“Three kids have died right here in the last [seven] years,” the man said.
According to Wesbrock, Wadsworth was wearing a seat belt in Friday’s accident but Boody was not. He said both air bags, on the driver’s side and on the passenger side, deployed during the accident. The Saab was demolished, he said.
Wesbrock said police are conducting blood tests on Boody, as they do with drivers in all fatal accidents in Maine. He said that police have no indication that Boody was impaired or intoxicated at the time of the crash.
“Speed does appear to be a factor,” Wesbrock said.