Driver allegedly under influence of drugs or alcohol when his car struck school bus in West Bath

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WEST BATH — Officials suspect a Phippsburg man was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when his car struck a school bus carrying seven students just after noon Wednesday on State Road in West Bath.

A Ford passenger car driven by Philip Wallace, 30, apparently crossed the center line and struck the bus, operated by Raymond Bernier, 48, of Oakland, according to Deputy Chief Brett Strout of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.

“We believe he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both,” Strout said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.

Two of seven passengers aboard, students in Morse High School’s vocational program, suffered minor injuries, Strout said.

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Bernier was not injured, but Strout said Wallace and his passenger, Rebecca Dyer, 34, of Phippsburg, suffered significant injuries.

Wallace was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Dyer was initially taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, and then transferred to Maine Medical Center, according to a hospital representative.

Their conditions were not available Wednesday evening.

State Road remained closed for several hours Wednesday as the sheriff’s office continued to investigate the crash. Bath and Brunswick police are reconstructing the crash.

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