Sleepy driver causes crash in Farmington, police say

Terry Karkos | Sun Journal
By Terry Karkos, Sun Journal
Posted April 29, 2012, at 5:40 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — Three people escaped serious injury Saturday afternoon when a sleepy driver crossed the centerline on Route 27 at the Barker Road intersection, forcing the driver of another vehicle off the road and onto its roof, police said.

Joshua Smith, 20, of Kingfield complained of back pain and was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital, said Darin S. Gilbert, a Farmington police officer.

Jennifer Dunn, 39, and her passenger, Cory Legassie, 41, both of Portland, were not injured.

Gilbert said Smith was driving a white 2000 Pontiac south on Route 27 toward Farmington in a 55-mph zone when he fell asleep about 2:50 p.m. while going downhill into a curve.

Dunn was driving north and uphill into the curve in a blue 2003 Suzuki Vitara sport utility vehicle when the Pontiac crossed the centerline, Gilbert said.

Dunn swerved off the road to avoid a head-on collision, losing control of the SUV, he said. It slid sideways several feet uphill before rolling at least once and coming to rest upside down on its roof, precariously balanced atop a mound of dirt.

“They were lucky it didn’t go back over,” Gilbert said.

The Pontiac “ran right off the road and hit the edge of that driveway there, went semi-airborne and spun it around and that’s where he ended up,” Gilbert said of Smith’s car, which came to rest against a tree facing back the way it came.

“He was lucky; she was lucky,” the officer said. “They were out when I got here.”

Witnesses driving behind Smith said he never braked, “he just kept right on going,” Gilbert said.

The accident “very easily” could have caused fatalities, he said. He credited Dunn for her evasive driving. “Instead of getting hit head-on, she avoided him. It could have been a whole lot worse.”

Traffic was reduced to one lane by Farmington Fire and Rescue for about an hour while tow trucks removed the demolished vehicles. Crews from two NorthStar ambulances tended to the three people.

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http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/29/news/lewiston-auburn/sleepy-driver-causes-crash-in-farmington-police-say/ printed on April 21, 2014