CARRABASSETT VALLEY — A Falmouth man was injured and a family dog killed after the vehicle they were riding in and another collided Sunday on Route 27, police Chief Scott Nichols said Monday.
The accident occurred at about 2 p.m. about one-quarter mile north of the Kingfield line near a line of white birch trees referred to as the “dancing trees,” he said.
A 2005 Honda Accord driven by Stephen Carew, 52, of Falmouth was southbound on Route 27 in a line of traffic behind a vehicle that witnesses said was going slower than the posted speed limit, Nichols said.
At that time multiple vehicles attempted to pass the slower vehicle, he said.
A 2005 Jeep Liberty driven Sarah Hinkley, 46, of Kingfield was traveling in the opposite direction and saw the multiple vehicles from the southbound lane in her northbound lane, he said.
Hinkley swerved to the right toward the breakdown lane in an attempt to avoid being hit by the vehicles but lost control and her Jeep and it shot into Carew’s Honda Accord, Nichols said.
Carew was transported by NorthStar Emergency Medical Services ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington to be evaluated, he said.
He was treated and released, FMH spokeswoman Jill Gray said.
Hinkley had a passenger, Aaron Hinkley, 27, also of Kingfield, and Carew had a passenger, Lisa Carew, 50, Nichols said.
There were conflicting witness accounts as to whether Carew’s Honda was one of the cars passing the slower vehicle, he said.
The vehicles made contact near the centerline of the road and caused each to roll over onto the west side of Route 27, he said.
Both vehicles were destroyed.
The Carews’ dog was ejected from the car and died, he said.
The Honda’s side-impact protection, and seat belts worn by everyone helped minimize the injuries, Nichols said.
Carrabassett Valley police officer Chris Rhinhart was assisted at the scene by Franklin County sheriff deputies, Carrabassett Valley firefighters and NorthStar personnel.
Nichols stated in a press release that “drivers must not give into the temptation to follow other cars while passing a slower vehicle. Tailing cars that are following a lead vehicle have reduced visibility and less time to react to oncoming traffic.”