Accident near Machias blamed on sun’s glare

Posted Dec. 10, 2010, at 3:25 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 7:20 a.m.

MARSHFIELD, Maine — An accident Friday morning that involved two vehicles and nearly a third is being blamed on glare from the morning sun, according to police. The collision demolished two cars, but a mother and her 6-month-old child escaped serious injury.

Joanna Stratton, 28, of Machias was driving a 1995 Subaru south on Route 192 around 8 a.m. when her car stalled, forcing her to pull over to the right side of the road a few miles north of the Machias town line, according to Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Ralph Pineo. The Subaru remained partially in the roadway after it stalled out, Pineo said.

Perry Pennell, 56, of Northfield, who also was driving south into the sun, didn’t see Stratton’s stalled car until the last second, the deputy said.

Pennell swerved his Buick LeSabre but struck the Subaru with the passenger side of his vehicle. Both cars were demolished in the collision, Pineo said.

Stratton was wearing a seat belt at the time and had a 6-month-old infant strapped into a child safety seat with her, the deputy said. He declined to release the infant’s name, but said neither the child nor the mother suffered serious injuries in the collision.

Neither Pennell nor his wife, Naidia Pennell, 55, who was a passenger in the Buick, was wearing a seat belt, Pineo said. Perry Pennell suffered bumps and bruises, but his wife suffered lacerations to her head and injured a leg. The Pennells were taken by ambulance to Downeast Community Hospital in Machias, where Naidia Pennell was being evaluated Friday afternoon, he said.

A third vehicle managed to avoid hitting the other two but ended up stuck by the side of the road in a snowbank, according to Pineo. Allen Krayton, whose age and town of residence the deputy did not know, came upon the crash scene but swerved across the road without hitting the other vehicles, the deputy said.

Krayton, who was wearing a seat belt, was uninjured and his Chevrolet Tahoe was not damaged, Pineo said.

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