INDUSTRY – An Oakland man died after a night of drinking when he drifted off to the right of Route 43, over-corrected and headed into a deep ditch on the opposite side of the road at 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to police.
The 1995 Jeep Cherokee rolled on its side, pinning him. State Police Trooper Scott Nichols said driver, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, 42, died at the scene.
“The passenger was thrown around the inside but was able to get out with the help of a passerby who stopped a few minutes later,” Nichols said. The passerby also called 911.
Leslie Everett Jr., 38, of New Sharon, was taken by Norstar Ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital, examined and released.
Fitzgerald and Everett worked together at Gagne & Son cement company in Belgrade. Nichols said the pair had been drinking at Everett’s house and were on their way to Farmington to continue drinking, either at a bar or friend’s house, when the accident occurred.
Neither man was wearing a seat belt. Police found several empty beer bottles and cans in the car at the scene.
Alcohol was a factor in the crash, Nichols said. Police started reconstructing the accident immediately. It was unclear so far if speed was also an issue.
“It’s a very narrow, windy road,” he said.
Fitzgerald was married with two children.