Driver suffers life-threatening injuries in Rumford rollover

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RUMFORD —  A Bethel man was in critical condition at a Lewiston hospital late Wednesday night after his pickup truck rolled over several times off Route 232, Rumford police Cpl. Lawrence Winson said.

Kasey Downs, 24, was airlifted to Central Maine Medical Center from a field near the accident scene by a LifeFlight medical helicopter, Winson said.

“He was able to talk and complained of shoulder pain,” Winson said.

He said the accident happened shortly before 8 p.m. on a sharp curve where the road goes across a small bridge over a brook. It was about a mile south of the South Rumford Road intersection by a chicken coop barn.

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Downs was traveling north in a 2002 Dodge Dakota quad-cab truck when he lost control and went off the roadway into a small field, Winson said. He wasn’t wearing a safety belt.

“It rolled at least five times and he was ejected at some point during that,” he said. 

Rumford police and firefighters and two Med-Care ambulances were en route to the scene after being notified at 7:58 p.m.

Initial radio traffic between a dispatcher in Paris and Rumford firefighters and Med-Care said the vehicle was completely crushed.

Oxford County Deputy Sheriff George Cayer radioed that he was on Route 232 and would provide emergency responders with a patient update. A few minutes later, Cayer radioed that the driver was seriously injured and had been ejected.

Downs was taken by Med-Care a short distance up the road to a field where Rumford firefighters had established a landing zone for LifeFlight. Med-Care Chief Dean Milligan said at the scene that he had the helicopter fly directly there rather than to Rumford Hospital due to Downs’s injuries.

“He’s got life-threatening injuries,” Milligan said. “An emergency room physician from Rumford Hospital stopped at the scene and helped us with the patient.”

At 9:05 p.m., Downs was flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston as it began to rain.

Rumford police had firefighters shut down Route 232 so they could reconstruct the accident without having people driving through it. County deputies also assisted.

Traffic was rerouted through Bethel until 10:30 p.m. when police and firefighters cleared the scene.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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