Sanford woman falls asleep at wheel, flips car into river

By Jim Haddadin, Foster's Daily Democrat
Posted Dec. 26, 2012, at 9:28 a.m.

LEBANON, Maine — A 34-year-old Maine woman escaped injury Tuesday when her car drifted off a road and flipped over into a river, rescue officials say.

The accident occurred around 7:22 a.m. on Little River Road at the old Grist Mill. Authorities say a woman who had stayed up all night the previous evening drove her sport utility vehicle off the road, breaking through a guardrail.

The car flipped over, and came to rest partially submerged in the river, authorities said.

“The driver was traveling north on Little River Road when she reportedly fell asleep from being up all night,” Assistant Lebanon Rescue Chief Jason Cole said in an announcement. “She went off the roadway just prior to the bridge and slammed through the guardrail. Her vehicle then rolled over and fell into the water. When our crews arrived, the vehicle was upside down partially in the water.”

The driver, a 34-year-old from Sanford, was wearing a seat belt and was not injured in the crash. She was able to crawl out of the vehicle on her own, and was evaluated by emergency crews at the scene.

“This is definitely a case where her seat belt saved her from serious injuries,” Cole said in a written statement.

Staffers from the Maine Department of Environmental Services responded to the scene to assist, and crews used booms to contain any potential release of fluids from the vehicle, Cole said.

Temporary barricades have been erected at the scene to compensate for the destruction of “about 30 feet of guardrail,” according to Cole. Rescue crews remained at the scene until about 9:30 a.m.

The accident is under investigation by Maine State Police, Cole said.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/12/26/news/portland/sanford-woman-falls-asleep-at-wheel-flips-car-into-river/ printed on October 24, 2014