New Jersey man indicted on manslaughter charges in fatal Bethel accident

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PARIS — A grand jury has indicted a New Jersey man on manslaughter charges for his involvement in a crash in Bethel last summer that left a New Hampshire man dead. 

An Oxford County grand jury indicted 53-year-old Steven Thomas of Ravin Road in Califon, N.J., on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated criminal OUI on Friday. Each is a felony charge.

The charges stem from a June 29 incident on Route 2 in Bethel, where Thomas collided with a passing motorcyclist as he was turning onto Sunday River Road.

According to Sun Journal accounts at the time, Timothy Daigle, 43, of New Boston, N.H., was driving west on Route 2 when Thomas failed to yield to the oncoming motorcycle, striking it.

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Daigle died at the scene.

Patricia Ensign, a passenger on the motorcycle, was transported to Rumford Hospital and was later flown to Central Maine Medical Center. 

Thomas’ blood alcohol content was .08 at the time, according to the indictment. 

Both Thomas and his wife, Alison Smith, 49, were also taken to the hospital. 

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crash. A message left with Capt. Christopher Wainwright was not returned Friday afternoon.

If convicted on all counts, Thomas faces more than 30 years in prison.

Thomas and his wife are the principal members of Custard LLC, a limited liability company, which owns the Sudbury Inn, a bed and breakfast in Bethel, according to a corporate filings with the Maine Secretary of State. 

The couple purchased property on Ridge Road in Bethel in 2003, according to records at the Oxford County Registry of Deeds. 

Thomas has not been arrested and is expected to be issued a summons. A court date was not known. 

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