June 23, 2018
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Police can’t figure out what Casco man hit that wrecked his car

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

LEVANT, Maine — A Casco man is facing charges after he apparently left the scene of an accident early Wednesday evening.

Dana Tirrell Jr., 55, was charged with operating under the influence and leaving the scene of a property damage accident, Deputy Ed Toulouse of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

Instead of being taken to Penobscot County Jail, however, Tirrell was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He received treatment for head and other injuries and then was released.

The episode that led to the charges began about 7:15 p.m. when Toulouse was sent to the area of 3839 Union St. to look into a report of a heavily damaged car that last was seen headed toward Bangor, he said. Witnesses said that despite the darkness, the car did not appear to have working headlights, which struck them as unusual, Toulouse said.

When he arrived, Toulouse found debris that apparently once was part of a vehicle, including the bumper, an entire headlight and assorted other parts.

Toulouse was able to track the damaged vehicle, a 1997 Toyota Avalon, by following a meandering trail of antifreeze that weaved back and forth between both travel lanes. When he found Tirrell in his car, the man reportedly was injured and in and out of consciousness. Toulouse, who detected the odor of liquor, said Tirrell was “very incoherent” and that he admitted to having consumed alcoholic beverages before crashing his car.

Blood alcohol content testing is being performed, Toulouse said.

What Tirrell struck remained a mystery late Thursday afternoon.

“That’s the funny thing,” Toulouse said. “We still haven’t been able to determine what he hit.”

Whatever he did hit, he hit hard — hard enough to cause imprints of numbers on the front end of his car, Toulouse said. He said the numbers led him to suspect that Tirrell might have struck a utility pole. The problem was he wasn’t able to find a damaged or broken pole in the area.

Toulouse said he asked some of his fellow sheriff’s deputies to see whether they could find any accident-related damage.

“We’ve had multiple officers in Levant looking,” he said, but so far to no avail.

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