SKOWHEGAN – A 19-year-old man died Sunday when he apparently over-corrected his Buick Regal on Route 2 and crashed into a grove of trees.
Gary Small of Skowhegan was dead at the scene of the noon accident, according to Skowhegan Deputy Police Chief Rick Bonneau.
Passenger Orrin Moody of Skowhegan, also 19, was flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor by LifeFlight helicopter, Bonneau said. A nursing supervisor said Moody was in stable condition Sunday evening.
There was no information on the nature of Moody’s injuries.
Bonneau said he believes Small lost control of his car in part because of speed. Small crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic, but had time to get out of the way of the oncoming car. But when Small swerved back into his lane, he apparently over-corrected, struck the gravel shoulder and left the highway, the officer said.
Small hit the trees about 25 feet off the road.
“He hit a stand of mature trees, so there was absolutely no give to them,” he said.
Small was driving west, about two miles from the downtown.
The Madison Police Department is reconstructing the accident. Bonneau said investigative protocol for fatal accidents requires testing for drugs and alcohol.
“I believe speed was not a major factor, but I believe it was one of the factors” that caused the crash, Bonneau said.
Bonneau did not know Sunday evening whether the two teens were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.