May 24, 2018
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Officials: Driver in Hope fatal accident was drunk

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

HOPE, Maine — A single-vehicle crash that killed three young people on Nov. 8 was caused by a drunken driver, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Daniel Dodge, 21, of Hope had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 — nearly double the state’s legal limit of 0.08 — when he crashed his 1989 Ford F-150 pickup truck into a tree in Hope, killing himself and passengers Katie Kelly, 17, of Rockland and Misti Leach, 14, of South Thomaston.

Dodge was driving the truck from Rockland to his home, located three miles from the crash site, when the car “went out of control on the Barnestown Road, overturned onto its side and slid into a tree,” according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. “The two girls were killed instantly, and Dodge also died at the scene after being freed from the wreckage using the Jaws of Life.”

The speed of the truck could not be determined. Only Leach was wearing a seat belt.

Kelly was a Rockland District High School student, and Leach attended eighth grade at Rockland Middle School. The three crash victims were friends.

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