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Driver dead after car crashes into tree stump on Route 1 in Orland

Photo courtesy of Erin Conary
Photo courtesy of Erin Conary
A white Ford Mustang crashed onto the property of Donna Conary at 1589 Acadia HIghway in Orland around 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff

ORLAND, Maine — The driver of a white Ford Mustang that veered off U.S. Route 1 and slammed into a tree stump at an Orland home has died at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, according to Maine State Police.

The driver, Edward Sargent, 64, of Sullivan, was alone in his vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt when he crashed into the stump around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, state police Sgt. Alden Bustard said in a news release.

Donna Conary, who lives at 1589 Acadia Highway with her husband and daughter, said she didn’t see the accident but heard the vehicle crash into the stump about five feet from her front door.

“I was sitting inside reading the paper and I heard a thump, then glass breaking, and I saw a piece of plastic fly by my window,” said Conary.

Conary said she called 911 and went outside to check on Sargent, who she said was bleeding from the head and did not respond when she asked if he was all right.

Conary and her daughter Erin Conary said the car’s windshield was broken and the driver’s-side air bag had deployed.

“He was bleeding and unresponsive,” Donna Conary said. “I don’t even want to describe it.”

Maine State Police went to the scene of the accident and had to cut down a small crab apple tree in order to get the driver’s-side door open to remove Sargent from the vehicle.

By 10:30 a.m., the police and vehicle were gone, but pieces of plastic and shards of glass littered the area near the stump. Tire tracks leading from the road were visible on Conary’s lawn.

Conary said she often sees vehicles cruising by her home at high speed, despite roadwork on U.S. Route 1 near her home.

“People don’t pay attention to the signs that say to slow down,” she said. “We see that every day.”

State police spokesman Stephen McCausland said it was unclear whether speed was a factor in the accident.

“There’s not much of a mystery here other than why he went off the road,” McCausland said. “But we’ll likely never know that.”

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

Correction: An early version of this story contained an incorrect photo caption. The accident occurred Tuesday, not Wednesday.

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