Man charged after allegedly running over lawyer’s sign

Posted Dec. 05, 2011, at 6:55 p.m.

TRENTON, Maine — An Otis man remained in stable condition at an Ellsworth hospital Monday afternoon after crashing his car into a sign and planter outside a local lawyer’s office, according to officials.

Benjamin Sargent, 35, is facing charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, operating a motor vehicle after suspension and violation of conditions of release, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department indicated in an incident summary released Monday.

Deputy Mike Southard of the Sheriff’s Department said Sargent was driving a 1994 Cadillac El Dorado south on Route 3 toward Mount Desert Island a few minutes before 7 p.m. Saturday when Sargent crossed the centerline as traffic was coming in the other direction. Sargent then suddenly turned the steering wheel to get back into his lane but lost control of the car, causing it to go off the right side of the road, Southard said Sunday evening.

The car struck a planter and a sign at the parking lot entrance to the Michael Ross Law Office, according to the deputy. Southard said witnesses told him the car went up in the air and came down on top of the planter.

“It seemed like he was going pretty fast,” Southard said of the witness statements. “He slammed into the planter. That’s completely destroyed.”

The driver’s side of the vehicle was heavily damaged in the accident but Sargent managed to extricate himself from the car, the deputy said. Sargent was reported to be walking away barefoot down the road toward the Trenton IGA supermarket when witnesses first contacted police, but by the time officers arrived he was being treated by County Ambulance personnel, Southard said. One of Sargent’s shoes came off when Sargent crawled out of the car, he said, while the other was found on the ground outside the wrecked vehicle.

Sargent was taken by County Ambulance to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth with possible leg and internal injuries and was admitted into the hospital’s intensive care unit, the deputy said.

A nurse at the hospital said Monday afternoon that Sargent was still at the hospital in stable condition.

Southard said the Cadillac was demolished in the accident, as were the sign and planter. He said he did not have a cost estimate for replacing the sign and planter.

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