Two injured in violent 3-car collision on icy Route 108 in Peru

PERU — Two drivers were injured in a three-car collision Saturday afternoon on icy Route 108 and taken to Rumford Hospital, police said.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Following a three-car collision Saturday afternoon on Route 108 in Peru, two Med-Care Ambulance crewmen at right prepare to take Thomas Sinclair, 86, of Mexico, to one of three waiting ambulances after removing him from the demolished 2005 Pontiac Vibe behind him.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

A Med-Care Ambulance crew wheels Thomas Sinclair, 86, of Mexico past the transmission that was ripped out of his 2005 Pontiac Vibe on Saturday. Police say he lost control on icy Route 108 in Peru and collided with a 2006 Subaru Forester driven by Cynthia Dawson, 56, of Roxbury.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Tyler S. Matias, 23, center, of Brunswick, waits to be handcuffed by Oxford County Sheriff's Sgt. Timothy Holland, right, and Oxford County Sheriff's Cpl. Chancey Libby, partially hidden, as Mexico police Lt. Roy Hodsdon records information. Police said Matias led them on a foot chase through the woods following a three-car collision that Matias was involved in Saturday afternoon on Route 108 in Peru.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Police say the driver of this 2005 Pontiac Vibe lost control Saturday afternoon on icy Route 108 in Peru, collided head-on with a 2006 Subaru Forester that ripped the Vibe's transmission off the engine, and then the Vibe spun around and was broadsided by a 2006 Suzuki Forenza.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

A Med-Care Ambulance crew member at right runs down Route 108 in Peru on Saturday afternoon to help with victims involved in a three-car collision that shut down the road for two hours.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

A Peru firefighter sweeps debris off Route 108 in Peru on Saturday afternoon. Police said the driver of the 2005 Pontiac Vibe at center lost control on ice and collided head-on with the 2006 Subaru Forester at left.

The third driver fled into the woods and was pursued on foot by police, who captured him on Valley Road, Oxford County Cpl. Chancey Libby said.

Thomas Sinclair, 86, of Mexico, and Cynthia Dawson, 56, of Roxbury, were taken by Med-Care Ambulance to Rumford Hospital. A nursing supervisor at the hospital later declined to provide any information about them.

Tyler S. Matias, 23, of Brunswick, complained of knee pain but refused treatment after he was caught by Libby, Mexico police Lt. Roy Hodsdon and Oxford County Sheriff's Sgt. Timothy Holland.

Matias was charged with operating after suspension, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and possession of a usable amount of marijuana. He was taken to Oxford County Jail in Paris and is to be arraigned on Feb. 15 in 11th District Court.

The incident began at about 1:15 p.m. at 590 Auburn Road (Route 108), just before the western end of Peru Center Road and Faith Baptist Church.

Libby said Sinclair lost control of the 2005 Pontiac Vibe he was driving east and collided head-on with Dawson's 2006 Subaru Forester, which was headed west.

The Forester veered off the road and traveled several feet through snow before stopping. The Vibe spun around and was struck broadside on the passenger-side rear wheel area by a 2006 Suzuki Forenza driven by Matias, Libby said.

The impact with the Subaru ripped the transmission out of the Vibe and scattered engine and front-end parts across both lanes.

Sinclair's passenger, Wayne Sinclair, 53, also of Mexico, was not injured.

Libby said that when he and Hodsdon arrived, witnesses told them that Matias had fled into the woods with his two dogs.

Hodsdon began searching for Matias's footprints, then radioed a dispatcher in Paris that he found the tracks behind the former Peru Town Office.

Libby said he handled a few more things at the accident scene where three Med-Care crews were helping the other victims, then drove to the building and ran into the woods after Hodsdon and Matias.

"We ran like bunnies through the woods and came out over by Tozier's junkyard, then we came upon the Valley Road and tracked him down there," Libby said.

Hodsdon "was of tremendous help," Libby said.

When they found Matias, Libby said he was walking with the dogs. The Brunswick man was handcuffed and returned to the accident scene before being taken to the Paris jail by Holland.

Libby said all drivers and passengers were wearing safety belts, which prevented more serious injuries.

All three vehicles were demolished and towed.

Peru firefighters shut down Route 108 at the scene, detouring traffic for two hours onto Peru Center Road. The section was reopened to traffic by 3:15 p.m. after firefighters removed the debris, placed material to soak up engine fluids and spread sand across both lanes.

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Phil Blampied's picture

Speeding, aggressive driving a Rt. 108 problem

It's not clear from this story whether speeding and aggressive driving were part of the problem in this case, but in general, Rt. 108 is usually a risky road due to lead footed drivers. The speed limits are, variously, 15 mph, 35 mph, 45 mph, 55 mph. Many drivers cruise the entire stretch averaging 70 to 75 mph and tailgating anyone who doesn't do the same. A radar patrol on that road might generate so many tickets that the state could pay off its deficit.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

When will they ever learn??????

First of all I'm glad no one was killed, from the extent of the damage someone could have been. Speaking of the damage, it would appear that all were going the speed limit in the area. Going that speed, as snow flakes are falling. As slush is starting to build up on the road. It's a progression that occurs every year at about this time. It will probably happen many more times this year. It goes a little like this, The snow starts to fall, the road starts to get wet, the slush starts to build up. What would you guess comes next? NO ONE PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD CONDITIONS. Then of course the last step in this annual progression, you suddenly find yourself facing where you just came from. Folks, this is not the best time to realize you should probably slow it down. The final "sub category" in this progression is you find yourself trying to put the brake pedal into the engine compartment. Even using both feet, your not going to accomplish that little task.
People need to pay attention to road and weather conditions. You need to make adjustments for weather, preferably before your going backwards. Speed limit signs indicate the speed under optimum conditions, anything less than that, you need to compensate accordingly.
...............Just my humble opinion...............


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