FARMINGTON — Two people were injured Saturday afternoon in separate vehicle accidents in Farmington and Phillips. One person was charged.

At about 4 p.m., responders and police in Farmington were sent to both accidents, although the Farmington one is believed to have occurred an hour or more prior to the driver’s call for help.

Farmington police officer Derrick Doucette said Saturday evening that Judith Rupar-Rosenberg, 74, of Las Vegas, Nev., was driving a rental 2013 Ford Focus when she drove off the Fairbanks Road.

“Speed may have been what caused it, because it’s a 35 mph zone and she traveled a good 30 yards off the roadway,” he said. “She hit a mailbox and went off the road into a drainage ditch (lined) with rocks.”

Doucette said Rupar-Rosenberg was in town to visit family in Farmington. He said he believes she was down where the Escort came to rest for more than an hour. Passers-by could not see the car from the roadway.

Farmington firefighters, Doucette and NorthStar Ambulance were sent to look for Rupar-Rosenberg because she didn’t know the area where she was to give them better directions when she called 911, Doucette said.


While they were looking, Rupar-Rosenberg told dispatchers that she could hear a siren sounding closer and that was Doucette’s police cruiser. He found marks where she had left the road and followed them to the Escort.

Rupar-Rosenberg had gotten out of the demolished Escort by herself and had minor injuries to her head and wrist, Doucette said. She was taken by ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.

The other accident happened on Dodge Road in Phillips.

Donald Pelham, 29, of Phillips, was driving a 2007 Chevy Silverado away from Edmund’s Market when he dropped his wallet on the floor, Franklin County Cpl. Nathan Bean said.

Bean said Pelham reached for it and steered the pickup truck in the direction he reached and drove off Dodge Road and right into a tree.

Then, Pelham, who wasn’t wearing a safety belt, struck the windshield with his face and head and fled the scene


Pelham, who had a bloody nose and lacerations, parked his truck at a friend’s house and walked home where Bean was waiting for him. Pelham declined medical treatment, Bean said.

After speaking with Pelham about the accident, Bean summoned him to court on charges of leaving the scene of an accident, failure to wear a safety belt and failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle. The latter two are infractions, but the leaving-the-scene charge netted Pelham an appearance on Oct. 7 in Farmington Unified Court.

Bean said the front of the Silverado sustained an estimated $6,000 in damage.

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