May 21, 2018
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Waterville woman in critical condition after vehicle plunges into Pittsfield stream

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

PITTSFIELD, Maine — A Waterville woman is in critical condition at a Bangor hospital after her car became submerged in the Sebasticook Stream on Monday morning, police said.

Dolores Withee, 69, was heading northbound on Route 100 when she went about 40 yards into the stream, according to Pittsfield police Officer Jeff Vanadestine.

Vanadestine said it’s possible a medical issue was a factor in the accident, which occurred near the Burnham Dam shortly after 10 a.m.

Vanadestine was the first officer on scene, and when he arrived, all he could see was a corner of the vehicle and Withee’s hand through the back window.

“I jumped in and swam out to her and tried to break the back of the window out,” Vanadestine said.

The officer was unsuccessful in his attempt as the vehicle kept sinking in about 12-13 feet of water, he said, but Chief Steven Emery came with Vanadestine’s baton and he was able to smash out the rear window of Withee’s Subaru station wagon.

By the time Vanadestine smashed the window out, the vehicle was completely submerged.

Vanadestine, along with Pittsfield firefighter Ryan Havey, were able to get Withee to shore, where CPR was administered, the officer said.

Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s ambulance transported Withee to that facility before she was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. She was the only person in the vehicle.

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