Police say seat belts saved 2 teens in Pittsfield crash

Posted Sept. 19, 2011, at 10:06 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 19, 2011, at 1:36 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Police in Maine say it’s “unbelievable” that two 17-year-old high school students survived a weekend car crash that saw their vehicle flip end-over-end three times. Seat belts are being credited with keeping the two students from the Maine Central Institute alive.

A Pittsfield police officer says debris from the car was scattered for 60 yards after the Saturday evening crash.

Driver Zachary Valente of Pittsfield sustained severe head trauma and bruises but he broke no bones. Passenger Rikito Watanabe, an exchange student from Japan, suffered a variety of injuries.

The Portland Press Herald says both were flown to the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. On Sunday their condition was listed as fair.

Pittsfield Police Officer Jeff Vanadestine says “seat belts saved their lives, hands down.”

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