BELFAST, Maine — A woman who apparently drove into the path of an oncoming charter bus on U.S. Route 1 in Belfast Saturday evening has died, police said. Chief Michael McFadden has not identified the woman, who was in her 50s.
Witnesses told officers that it looked like the woman driving the car turned left from Northport Avenue into the path of the bus, which was traveling north on U.S. Route 1.
Neighbors Mary and David Black said that they heard a very loud crash about 6:20 p.m. at the nearby Route 1 Jug Handle. Mary Black, who is a doctor, called 911 and went to the vehicle to see if she could be of assistance. She said that a nurse — one of the passengers of the charter bus — already was helping the injured, trapped woman, who was still conscious at that time.
McFadden said the driver was the sole occupant of the Subaru. “This is a unique situation,” McFadden said, gesturing towards the Subaru, which had been largely taken apart during the rescue effort. “The car was holding onto her pretty good.”
He said that emergency responders had to “pull the dashboard and engine compartment out of her lap.” They ripped the roof and sides off the car and broke into the rear window with a hammer.
Rescue crews worked for an hour to cut her out of the crumpled Subaru Impreza with the Jaws of Life.
As crews from the Belfast Police Department, Belfast Fire Department, Belfast Ambulance and Waldo County Sheriff’s Office worked at the scene, passengers of the charter bus watched and worried.
About 20 young adults had been heading from the Camden area to the sold-out Luke Bryan show in Bangor, part of the Waterfront Concert series. One young woman said it was her friend’s 23rd birthday party and many in the group were wearing cowboy boots and hats.
McFadden said that two of the people on the bus suffered comparatively minor injuries in the accident, which caused traffic on the coastal thoroughfare to be rerouted for more than an hour.
David Black said that a lot of accidents have happened at that intersection.
“This is a regular occurrence here, unfortunately,” he said.
The woman was pulled from the car and flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor by LifeFlight helicopter.
On Sunday morning, Belfast police reported that the woman has died.