Driver in fatal downtown Old Town crash was ‘going over 90,’ police say

Posted Dec. 10, 2012, at 2:47 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 10, 2012, at 3:26 p.m.

OLD TOWN, Maine — Those who saw the fatal car crash Saturday morning near the River House on Main Street say the driver — who died when ejected from the vehicle — was speeding excessively, Old Town police Officer Lee Miller said Monday.

“Three witnesses saw the car. They all estimated the speed as 95 miles per hour,” the officer said. “It’s a 25 through there.”

Jonathan Worster, 23, of Carmel had been drinking before he got behind the wheel of the tan 2007 Dodge Caliber that crashed at around 4:50 a.m. Saturday, Miller said. His three passengers, Keith Rhodes, 23, of Brewer and Old Town residents Jessica Thompson, 24, and William Cassio, 21, were all injured, Rhodes seriously, the officer said.

“Speed and alcohol were factors,” Miller said. “Nobody was wearing their seat belts.”

The four had been drinking in Orono together and were heading to Woods Street when the crash occurred, he said.

Worster’s car “was traveling northbound on Main Street at a very high rate of speed,” Miller said. “When they got past Tim’s Little Big Store, he lost control. He tried to correct, but ended up hitting the pole. He hit the pole and ended up flipping the car over several times.”

When the car rolled, “It ejected the operator — the driver — of the vehicle,” the officer said, referring to Worster. “They had to extricate Rhodes. The other two crawled out.”

Worster was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was pronounced dead.

Old Town Fire Department personnel got Rhodes out of the crushed car and he, Thompson and Cassio were all taken to EMMC. Rhodes was listed in critical condition Sunday night, Sgt. Mike Hashey said.

Thompson and Cassio have already been released from the hospital, Miller said.

The crash reconstruction was done by Old Town Police Department, with the assistance of the Maine State Police. The Orono Police Department and Orono Fire Department assisted at the scene.

The investigation determined, “He was definitely going over 90 miles per hour,” Miller said of Worster.

Bangor Daily News writer Nick McCrea contributed to this report.

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