Dispute over cellphone, alcohol main factors in I-295 accident

Posted Oct. 14, 2011, at 5:24 p.m.

FALMOUTH, Maine — A night of drinking and a fight over a cellphone led to trouble for a pair of southern Maine men early Friday morning, and one of them is facing drunken driving charges after an accident on I-295, police said.

Ralph Jutkiewicz, 53, of Portland was heading northbound in his 1997 Ford Explorer just before 1 a.m. Friday when he and his male passenger got into a dispute over a cellphone, according to Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland.

The passenger, whose identity was unknown to authorities, grabbed the steering wheel and forced the vehicle off the roadway and into a line of large rocks that parallel the interstate, McCausland said.

The passenger was partially ejected from the car and had to be extricated by Falmouth rescue personnel. He and Jutkiewicz were transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.

McCausland said alcohol was the main factor in the accident, which was similar to an accident on I-295 in Topsham earlier this month.


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