AUGUSTA — Six people died on Maine roads this weekend, bringing the state’s total driving-related deaths to 46 this year — a 53 percent increase from this time last year.

Last year was exceptionally safe, however. According to a press release from the Maine Department of Public Safety, 2011 was the safest year on record for Maine drivers since 1959.

The Bureau of Highway Safety reports that speed was a factor in almost 60 percent of all driving-related deaths in 2012. Alcohol was involved in at least 15 of the fatal crashes, according to the press release.

On Friday night in Newfield, two men in their early 30s were killed in an accident when their speeding car crashed into trees off Route 11 and split in half, according to police.

On Saturday afternoon in Sanford, a female passenger died when the car she was riding in turned in front of another vehicle on Main Street. Sanford police are investigating, according to the release.

On Saturday evening in Northport, a motorcyclist lost control of his bike on Route 52. Police say 64-year-old Donald Rogers of Northport missed a curve in the road and his vehicle ended up in a ditch. He was not wearing a helmet and died of head injuries. Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the crash, according to police.

The Northport crash was Maine’s second motorcycle fatality this year. 

On Saturday night in Fairfield, a Skowhegan woman’s car careened off Route 201 into a fast-moving stream. The woman has still not been located, according to police.  

And in Windsor on Sunday afternoon, 44-year-old Timothy Simmons of Belmont died when his speeding car struck a utility pole and overturned, according to police.

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