RUMFORD — An investigation into Friday afternoon’s accident on River Street that killed a Rumford man was mostly completed by Tuesday, police Sgt. Douglas Maifeld said.

Blunt force chest trauma is listed as the official cause of death for William “Bizz” Carignan, 72, of Andover Road, but it wasn’t determined by an autopsy, Maifeld said. That determination was made Friday evening by an emergency room physician at Rumford Hospital, he said.

Carignan died after his 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer struck a utility pole near the police station. Maifeld said Carignan wasn’t wearing a seat belt, according to the first firefighter to arrive at the scene.

“He said they found him slumped over the center console,” Maifeld said.

Carignan was pronounced dead at 5:28 p.m. at Rumford Hospital, the investigator said.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office is listing the official cause of death as blunt force chest trauma,” Maifeld said. “They took the ER doctor’s word on it, so there will be no autopsy, so I’ll never know if it was a medical issue” that caused the accident, he said.


Maifeld said he was told there wasn’t any reason to conduct an autopsy because it was a single-vehicle accident that didn’t injure anyone else, and the emergency room physician had determined the cause of death.

This was the first fatal accident in Maifeld’s 27-year career as a law enforcement officer where he was the primary investigator.

Carignan had left the Elks Lodge at 60 River St. and was driving north toward Hartford Street when the accident occurred. Witnesses said they heard the SUV accelerate and then hit the pole, Maifeld said.

First responders with the Rumford Fire Department and two Med-Care Ambulance crews performed CPR on Carignan for about 30 minutes before he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Rumford Hospital.

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