Media Archive

2 men die in 1-car crash in Sebec

Article from Bangor Daily News, Thursday, October 21, 2004

By Doug Kesseli
of the NEWS Staff

A third man walks away from the wreck and looks for help

SEBEC - Two young men died Wednesday afternoon after the car in which they were riding went off the North Road and became airborne, striking trees 10 to 15 feet up before landing in the woods. Drake Martell, 21, of Sangerville and Elias Russell, 22, of Parkman were pronounced dead at the scene, said Investigator Allen Emerson of the Piscataquis County Sheriff's Department.

A third person in the vehicle, Heath St. Louis, 21, of the Guilford area, suffered relatively minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. St. Louis was released from the hospital later Wednesday after he was treated for what Emerson said were cuts and scrapes.

St. Louis managed to get out of the vehicle that was demolished and which claimed the lives of the other two, whose bodies remained inside the car. All three were wearing seat belts and the vehicle's air bags deployed, according to Emerson.

A short time after the accident, St. Louis was spotted running down the road yelling for help, the Piscataquis County investigator said. St. Louis was picked up by a motorist who brought him back to the scene of the accident and it was there that the first emergency medical service personnel found him, Emerson said.

Many details about what happened are still under investigation.

"We don't know why the vehicle went off the road," Emerson said late Wednesday night. What is known, or what investigators could release, is that the car was heading north on the North Road shortly after 4 p.m. and the driver lost control of the car coming down a hill.

The driver lost control for some reason and Emerson said the vehicle went off the right side of the road and into a ditch. It then became airborne, crashed high into some trees, and came to rest at the base of other trees, about 20 feet into the woods from the road, Emerson said. Clothing or other materials jettisoned from the car could be seen hanging from tree branches.

The North Road was blocked off for much of the late afternoon and into the evening as investigators looked for clues and details that would help them find out what had happened. The road was reopened about 10 p.m.

Emerson said investigators are still trying to find where the three were in the car and what caused the driver to lose control and go off the road. Investigators also will have to determine what factors may have contributed to the crash.

Fire and rescue personnel from Dover-Foxcroft and Sebec assisted in Wednesday's effort. A LifeFlight helicopter that had been called was canceled shortly thereafter.

The accident is being reconstructed by the Maine State Police.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.