NEWPORT, Maine — A Corinna man who police say was behind the wheel of a white GMC extended-cab pickup truck that was involved in a Christmas Eve hit-and-run on Interstate 95 in Carmel pleaded not guilty Wednesday in District Court through his attorney.
Christopher Doherty, 38, was charged with reckless conduct, driving to endanger, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and failure to report an accident for his alleged involvement in the late evening collision that destroyed one vehicle and caused extensive damage to his truck.
Doherty was arraigned Wednesday morning in Newport District Court. His attorney entered the not guilty plea on his behalf, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office in Bangor. Assistant District Attorney Margaret Gray is prosecuting the case.
A man from Lisbon Falls was driving south on I-95 in a Jeep Wrangler around 11:35 p.m. Dec. 24 when he noticed a truck behind him approaching quickly with its left turn signal on.
At approximately mile marker 171, the truck “plowed right into him” and “the force of that pushed him right off the road,” Maine State Police Trooper Michael Johnston said.
After the collision, Doherty stopped long enough to survey the scene, then got back into his heavily damaged truck and drove away, the trooper said. The Jeep was totaled in the rear-end crash, but the driver was not injured, he said.
Witnesses to the collision said the driver of the pickup was speeding and swerving on the highway just before crashing into the Jeep.
If convicted of the reckless conduct charge, the most serious of the four charges, Doherty could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Doherty’s trial will be held in April.