BOWDOIN, Maine — The Sagadahoc County Sheriff ’s Department arrested a Topsham man on a charge of operating under the influence of drugs after he reportedly crashed his vehicle into a shed Friday morning on Lewis Hill Road.
Deputy Matt Sharpe went to the scene of the crash, which was reported at 9:46 a.m. at 284 Lewis Hill Road. No one was injured but Sharpe arrested the driver of the single vehicle involved — 33-year-old Barry Lubee — and charged him with Class C felony operating under the influence of drugs and violation of conditions of release.
Sharpe said a witness reported that Lubee was driving a 1994 GMC pickup truck south on Lewis Hill Road at a high rate of speed. The truck failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway. It careened across a field and smashed into an old wooden shed on the property.
After the pickup truck struck the shed, Sharpe said, it entered the roadway again, crossing to the opposite side and crashing head-first into a ditch.
When Sharpe arrived at the crash scene, he suspected that Lubee, the sole occupant, was impaired. Sharpe conducted a field sobriety test that allegedly confirmed his first impression, so he arrested Lubee and took him to the Topsham Police Department.
Lubee complained of pain and was evaluated by Bowdoin EMS. He refused to be taken to a hospital.
Sharpe said he and Cpl. Marc Brunelle of the Bath Police Department, a drug recognition expert who came to the station, “believed he [Lubee] was under the influence of drugs.”
Results of blood tests are due within a month.
Sharpe also did a bail check on Lubee and found he had bail conditions in place stemming from a domestic violence assault reported in Topsham on Thursday night. As part of the bail conditions, Lubee was subject to random search and testing at any time without suspicion or probable cause.
Sharpe said Lubee’s pickup truck was totaled in the crash, as was the shed he hit, after the truck “went right through it,” Sharpe said.
Tire tracks indicate the pickup truck traveled over a knoll, went airborne, hit the ground again and launched like a projectile into the approximately 10-by-12-foot shed, according to Sharpe.
The pickup truck just missed an adjacent shed, Sharpe said.
Lt. Tom Garrepy of the Brunswick Police Department reconstructed the scene Friday afternoon to try to determine the speed at which Lubee was driving. Speed also is believed to be a factor.
Lubee was taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail and has a court date of April 10 at West Bath District Court.
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