CORINTH, Maine — A local man died and three other motorists suffered minor injuries when his sedan collided with a pickup truck on Route 15 and both landed in a ditch Saturday night, police said Sunday.
Keith Trask, 69, of Corinth was pronounced dead on the way to Eastern Maine Medical Center of Bangor. A 2002 Chevy Avalanche slammed into Trask’s 2005 Buick LeSabre at the intersection of Route 15 and Hudson Hill Road at about 7:10 p.m., said Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Fitch.
The death is yet another tragedy for the Trask family. Trask’s 71-year-old brother, David, was beaten to death by a crowbar on Nov. 12, 2011, in an alleged dispute over a right of way. Peter Robinson, 50, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on a charge of manslaughter in July.
Robinson claimed he was acting in self-defense. During his trial, Robinson’s attorney questioned whether Keith Trask was involved in a murder-for-hire plot. Trask declined to answer the questions, pleading the Fifth Amendment.
The Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office will review the report police will compile on Saturday’s accident to determine whether the Avalanche’s driver, 36-year-old Christine Hood of Berlin, N.H., should face charges, Fitch said.
Apparently unfamiliar with the four-way intersection, Hood told investigators that she was on Hudson Hill Road approaching Route 15 and didn’t see a stop sign there “until she was almost into the intersection,” Fitch said.
“It appears that she missed the stop sign, and that was the cause of the accident,” Fitch said Sunday.
The Avalanche hit the LeSabre almost head on at the Buick’s front passenger wheel, before it spun 180 degrees and followed the car into the ditch. Trask, Hood and her two passengers, both women, all were wearing seat belts. The passengers went to EMMC with seat belt bruises. Hood declined to go to the hospital, Fitch said.
“The seat belts definitely kept them from having serious injuries,” Fitch said of the women.
Hood faced “an awkward approach” to the intersection that might have made it difficult for her to see the stop sign, Fitch said. Hudson Hill Road also lacks signs warning motorists that they are approaching the intersection, he said.
State Trooper Christopher Cookson and Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Ed Toulouse are handling the accident reconstruction. Investigators lack witnesses. Anyone who saw the accident is asked to call 945-4636, Fitch said.
A passing motorist called 911 shortly after the accident occurred. Another, a woman with emergency medical training, earned Fitch’s praise by climbing into the LeSabre before firefighters arrived and securing Trask’s spinal cord with her hands.
“She was there just before me,” said Fitch, who declined to release the woman’s name without her permission. “I don’t think anything else could be done [for Trask], but she sat inside the crushed vehicle with him to do that. She was great.”
“When I have somebody there who has some form of medical training, that’s excellent,” Fitch said. “It helps me out a lot.”