LINCOLN, Maine — A police officer’s memory and a mother’s telephone call led officers to a young man killed in a car crash late Saturday night on Bagley Mountain Road, officials said Sunday.
Nicholas Haynes, 19, of Lincoln was found dead by Officer John Walsh about 11:20 p.m. at the end of Bagley Mountain Road farthest from its Route 2 intersection, police and dispatchers from Penobscot County Regional Communication Center said Sunday.
It was unclear whether Haynes had been thrown from the family Buick he was driving or had managed to drag himself away from the burning wreck when the accident occurred, possibly at about 9:30 p.m. That’s nearly two hours after Walsh said he initially saw the vehicle driving fast on Route 2 toward Winn and with a taillight and headlight out near Bagley Mountain Road, according to Dan Summers, Lincoln’s public safety director.
Walsh was coming from the direction of Winn on Route 2 at about 9:30 p.m. when he passed what he thought was a Buick traveling without a headlight and taillight, Summers said. Walsh turned around and went to pursue the vehicle, but it had already gone up Bagley Mountain Road, Summers added. Walsh radioed other officers and told them of his encounter, saying that the sedan had “disappeared” on him, Summers said.
“John tried to catch up to it to pull it over for the headlight and missing taillight, but it was moving too fast,” Summers said.
The officers searched for the vehicle partly up Bagley Mountain Road before ending the search, Summers said.
At about 10:45 p.m., Haynes’ mother called 911 from the Lincoln Public Safety Building to report her son was missing. That’s when Walsh connected her report to the vehicle he had seen, and officers resumed their search — this time going farther along the unlit Bagley Mountain Road and finding a car had slammed into a granite wall off the road and ignited, Summers said.
Walsh and the other officers spotted tire tracks and the faint glow of the burning vehicle in the heavy darkness before they found Haynes’ body about 15 feet from the Buick, Summers said. The car crashed into one of several large blocks of granite at the end of the dead end street, he said.
A state police accident reconstructionist was at the scene about 3 a.m. Sunday.
Bagley Mountain Road has no streetlights. It is a mix of paved and unpaved road lined with farmland, some houses and heavy woods. The website lunaf.com, which illustrates moon phases, described the moon as being in its final sliver crescent before the coming of a new moon on Sunday night into Monday morning. Weather reports indicated partly cloudy and dark skies.
Walsh and the other officers did well dealing with the difficult situation, Summers said.
“They were very thorough,” he said.
In an earlier version of the story, police had initially identified the victim as Nicholas Haines. It is Nicholas Haynes.