Holden woman hurt after crashing SUV into pole

Posted Oct. 01, 2012, at 10:46 p.m.

HOLDEN, Maine — Alcohol was cited as a factor in a single-vehicle crash Monday afternoon that sent a Holden woman to the hospital for treatment of internal injuries.

The accident happened about 3:30 p.m. on Clark Hill Road, when Barbara Howard, 56, lost control of her 2004 Hyundai Sante Fe, which was headed north, Holden police Sgt. Eugene Fizell said Monday night.

Fizell said that Howard’s SUV “traveled sideways and backward” for a distance of about 250 feet before slamming into a utility pole, striking the driver’s side hinge area. The impact, he said, snapped the vehicle around so that it came to a rest facing in the opposite direction.

Howard was extricated from wreckage by Capital Ambulance and Hampden public safety personnel, Fizell said. She was taken to a Bangor hospital, where she was being treated for internal injuries that he said appeared to be serious but not life-threatening.

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Howard’s passenger, 70-year-old Rebecca Eastman, who is visiting from Florida, suffered minor injuries, Fizell said. He said she was treated at the accident scene by emergency medical personnel.

Both women appeared to be wearing their seat belts when the accident happened, he said, adding that the airbags in Howard’s SUV deployed.

Fizell said that, based on evidence at the scene and his professional assessment, he expected that Howard will be charged with operating under the influence. He said a blood sample was taken and that he is awaiting results.

The broken utility pole knocked out the neighborhood’s electrical power and cable and telephone service. Though power was restored shortly after the crash, Fizell said it took about six hours to get the pole replaced and the rest of the services up and running again.

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