Christmas Eve I-95 hit-and-run suspect pleads no contest

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted April 28, 2011, at 1:07 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — A Corinna man who 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 changed his not guilty plea to no contest Wednesday in District Court.

Christopher Doherty, 38, was convicted of three of the four charges against him and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, a Newport District Court clerk said Thursday.

Doherty was charged with reckless conduct, driving to endanger, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and failure to report an accident for his involvement in the late evening collision that destroyed one vehicle and caused extensive damage to his truck.

Doherty entered the no contest plea Wednesday morning before Judge Susan Sparaco to the charges of reckless conduct, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and failure to report an accident, the court clerk said. The charge of driving to endanger was dismissed, she said.

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 driven by Doherty “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.

Doherty was ordered to pay fines for the three convictions — $1,000 for the reckless conduct and $500 each for leaving the scene of a property damage accident and failing to report an accident, the clerk said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/04/28/news/mid-maine/christmas-eve-hit-and-run-suspect-pleads-no-contest/ printed on April 25, 2014