May 22, 2018
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Two escape serious injury in separate County crashes

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

STACYVILLE, Maine — Two people escaped serious injury on Thursday evening after separate accidents in Stacyville and Silver Ridge Township in Aroostook County.

State Police Sgt. Tom Pelletier said Friday that Heather Blue, 34, of Sherman, was northbound at about 8:40 p.m. on the Silver Ridge Road in Silver Ridge Township when she lost control of her 2003 Pontiac.

Pelletier said she was traveling at a high rate of speed and the vehicle left the roadway on the east side of the road while flipping end over end. The vehicle then struck and severed a utility pole about eight feet off the ground. The bottom part of the pole penetrated the vehicle’s roof and went completely to the floorboard, narrowly missing Blue. The top part of the pole was kept upright by the vehicle. She remained trapped in the vehicle until workers from Maine Public Service Co. cut power to the pole and emergency medical personnel extricated her by shattering the driver’s door window. Blue was transported to Millinocket Regional Hospital by Patten Ambulance. She is being treated for minor injuries.

The Silver Ridge Road was completely shut down for about an hour and restricted to one lane for about two hours. Maine Public Service crews installed a new pole and restored power to area residents. The vehicle sustained extensive damage and is considered a total loss.

The incident remains under investigation.

Earlier in the evening, Pelletier said James Bernardi, 46, of East Millinocket, was southbound on Route 11 in Stacyville when he lost control of his 2006 Pontiac. At about 6 p.m., he careened off the west side of the road and struck a tree, and then traveled about 100 feet off the road and into a utility pole. The crash also downed a telephone wire.

Despite extensive damage to the entire right side of his car with the right fender pushed into the wheel, Bernardini drove another half mile before his vehicle came to a stop.

Pelletier said Trooper Tim Saucier believed alcohol was involved, and Bernadini was subsequently arrested for operating under the influence and taken to the East Millinocket Police Department.

His vehicle sustained extensive damage and is considered a total loss.

State police were assisted by emergency responders from Sherman, Stacyville, and Patten and by the East Millinocket Police Department.

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