Benton mother of three killed in auto accident

Posted Jan. 19, 2011, at 4:52 p.m.

UNITY TOWNSHIP, Maine — A Benton woman was killed Wednesday morning after colliding head-on with another motorist on Unity Road in Unity Township.

Jessica Eldridge, 36, died at the scene of the accident, according to Kennebec County Sheriff Randall A. Liberty.

Liberty said Eldridge was driving a 2011 Hyundai Accent eastbound on Unity Road approximately two miles west of the town of Unity at approximately 8:55 a.m. A 1996 GMC Sierra driven by David Kimberlain, 20, of Windham, which was traveling westbound, lost control at a bend in the road and struck Eldridge head-on, according to a press release. Kimberlain failed to negotiate a curve and overcorrected, according to the release.

Eldridge, who has three children, suffered extensive abdominal injuries. Attempts by rescue personnel at the scene to resuscitate her were unsuccessful. Kimberlain suffered a broken leg and a passenger in his vehicle suffered facial injuries. Kimberlain and his passenger were taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Campus in Waterville and later were released.

Liberty said Eldridge was driving a rental vehicle because her vehicle was being repaired. He said no charges have resulted from the accident so far, though the investigation continues. Road conditions in the area had been slushy earlier in the day but the road surface was merely wet at the time of the accident, said Liberty.

Kennebec County Cpl. Michael Pion is reconstructing the accident to determine the speed of the vehicles and other factors, a process he expects to take several days.

“This accident appears to have been avoidable,” said Pion in a release. “This is an unfortunate loss of life and our thoughts and prayers are with Jessica’s children and family.”

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