One killed, one critical after two-car crash in Auburn

AUBURN — A two-car crash at the intersection of Minot Avenue and Allain Park has claimed the life of an Auburn man and left an Arundel man in critical condition, according to a news release from Auburn police.

Fatal accident on Minot Avenue in Auburn
Russ Dillingham, Sun Journal

A two-vehicle head-on accident on Minot Avenue in Auburn Sunday morning resulted in one fatality, according to an Auburn police officer at the scene.

Rick Farr, 43, of Auburn was traveling east on Minot Avenue in a silver Audi, when it was struck by a westbound Jeep Cherokee hauling a snowmobile trailer, operated by 37-year-old Matthew Harris of Arundel.

The impact of the crash split the Audi in half and sent the Jeep Cherokee into a telephone pole, bringing down the primary power lines.

Farr, who was alone in the vehicle, was killed instantly. As of Sunday night, Harris was in critical condition at Central Maine Medical Center.

Harris’s passenger, 35-year-old Sherri Walkeling of Arundel, was in satisfactory condition at CMMC.

Crowds gathered on either side of the yellow police tape as officers reconstructed the crash, took photos and cleared the road of debris.

The Audi was completely broken in two, with pieces of the car strewn across yards, the street and the driveway of a home at the intersection.

The second vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee hauling a trailer with a snowmobile, was about 500 feet away on Minot Avenue in front of the nursing facility. Another 500 feet up the road were the trailer and snowmobile.

Preliminary investigation shows that Harris may have experienced some type of medical event just prior to the accident, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

The crash remains under investigation. The Auburn police are being assisted by an accident reconstructionist from the Maine State Police.

Auburn Public Works, United Ambulance, Central Maine Power, FairPoint Communications and Time Warner Cable also assisted at the scene.

The neighborhood was without power for several hours until Central Maine Power crews replaced the utility pole that was sheared in half as a result of the accident. Minot Avenue was also closed until about 7 p.m. for accident reconstruction and utility work.

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Kim Berry's picture

SJ, any follow ups?

Has there been any follow ups? About what was the cause of the accident? Meaning why the driver of the truck was seen speeding and swerving in and out of traffic right before the crash? WAS there a medical condition? Was there a reason he didnt pull over and let the passenger take over?

I have been curious. I hope people are healing from all of this. I looked up this story, after plugging in the search bar "Minot Ave" and a few other fatal accidents popped up. Wow!

*wishing blessings for the surviors families*

Kim Berry's picture

ooops no "edit" option

I mean, "found it" I searched for this article, to see if there were any Other related articles since I last was here. I am scared to drive still, because some one can cross the center line, any time, for any reason at all, and there may not be another car right there. But, I pray to God,that when I am that other car, who is right there, that my life & my child's life, and dogs, be spared.

It can happen from dropping a piece of gum, a cigarette, changing the radio station, picking up the phone... ahhh many things. I will be even more attentive when driving. I dont want to be the Cause of such an accident either. gosh! This is heart breaking. I really empathise deep for these folks and their losses. Well,I dont know if any one is coming back to this discussion, or not, but I wanted to check in to see if there was any news on this. Hoping you are safe and dilligent drivers. oh boy, I dont even know what to say. I just really feel for these folks. And we Cannot turn back time.

Kim Berry's picture

speed? wasnt there, dont know. but

..... since I brought it up .......... I think that, speed, velocity, opposite dirrections, force of grativy all play a factor in head ons. I have seen many "totaled" vehicles that didnt look half THAT bad as these ones did, who were going at normal rates of speed. (under 35)
even 35 mph can do some serious damage actually. But, if you saw either of these two heaps of metal, it would literally take your breath away. :(

Not sure where the "posible medical issue" came from. Maybe the surving passenger said it? Dont know. But, if you are in an emergency need, you do not weave in and out of traffic hauling a loaded snow mobile trailer speeding down a residential road! You pull over and call 911. That is what's got me curious. That part right there. I am not criticising. I am searching facts & curious about answers.

So, that;s why I posed the question about "what kind of medical issue would cause excessive rates of speeding?" Do you know what I mean? Because there have been a few "medical event" crashes in Maine lately. Some cases it was a one step accident. Meaning, Person swerves, crashes. Done. Sometimes involves another car, sometimes isolated crash into natural surroundings. I am simplifying my description, I know that. But to point out the major difference in the TYPE of crashES that occurred. This was a multiple event series of crashes.. Phew! They will have their work cut out for them, working on this case.

*wishing the investigators persitance, strength and clear minds* throughout their work. as well as *wishing healing energy towards the victims & the deceased families*

Andrew Jones's picture

Damn, how fast were they

Damn, how fast were they going? That poor audi got worked! :(

Jason Theriault's picture

Maybe not that fast

They were going in opposite directions, so even without speeding, the closure rate could have been 70 mph.

Mental note - buy a Volvo, not an Audi.

 's picture

Could have gone without

Could have gone without posting the "MENTAL NOTE". Disrespectful.

JANET MAGOON's picture


Such a horrific accident!! My heart aches for the victim and his family and also for the young man who caused the accident because of a medical condition, and for his passenger!! I thank God that this didn't happen on a week day, (with kids going to school) as the outcome could have been a whole lot worse!!! This scares the heck out of me!!!!

 's picture


So sad and tragic...My thoughts and prayers go out to the people that got hurt and their families and the family and friends of Rick Farr...

David  Cote's picture


I was taken aback when I saw the destruction of both cars. One would expect to see devastation like this on outer Rte 4 or some other state road with a 55 mph speed limit, not on Minot Ave. in a 30 mph zone. It's amazing there were survivors of this crash.

Kim Berry's picture

OMG what a horrible event!

I saw the jeep that was hauled off. It was completely pulverised up to the back seat! The other car was hit so hard it was split in two pieces! WoW! I looked at these photos, and I can only imagine the devastation for those families involved.

That Jeep must have been going mighty fast to have pulverized like that. I dont know what kind of medical condition would cause high rates of speeding. I was told he was swerving in and out of cars. I guess more info will become available soon. I travel that road often with my little girl and two dogs. I pray to God nothing like this ever happens to us. Innocent, driving along, and then BAM! Your'e struck head on. I am a nervous wreck now. :S

I pray for those who lost their friend/family member tonight. My heart goes out to you all. :( so horrible! holy cow!

Kim Berry's picture

so sad

I will also send up a prayer for the other who were hurt in the crash. Very tragic event. I hope that they can determine what was invloved with the incident to help eliminate any furhter chances of something like happening again (since I am not sure what caused this)

Kim Berry's picture

typos, no "edit" button

sorry, I appologise for the repeat comments, but there is no "edit" choice here for my comments.
I meant to say "for the others" (who were hurt in the accident)


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