LEWISTON — A woman died at the scene and a man was injured in a serious, single-vehicle accident on Pond Road late Saturday afternoon, according to police. 

The accident happened just after 5 p.m.

Sgt. Derrick St. Laurent said the man’s condition was unclear but that he’d been taken to Central Maine Medical Center. The couple is from the area. Names were being withheld as police tried to locate family members. 

Witnesses said both were trapped inside after their RAV4 struck a tree and flipped.

First Richard and Christine Charest heard the smashing of metal against the road — then they saw the flames.

“We were afraid it might blow up and they were stuck in there,” said Richard Charest, who lives at 87 Pond Road, feet from where the vehicle came to rest on its side.

He and his wife both grabbed 5-gallon buckets to douse the flames coming from the hood.

Christine’s mother, a retired nurse, said she heard the couple speaking and moaning and took the woman’s pulse. She was in the passenger side and appeared to have taken the brunt of the impact into the tree.

Initially, the woman’s pulse was good, she said. But “when I took it again, it was thready,” she said.

Lewiston police and fire officials sawed off the top of the vehicle to remove the man and take him away in a stretcher. The woman had already been pulled out.

The area where the accident occurred is a 25-mph zone, and the road inclines slightly. The road was closed for close to three hours as police reconstructed and cleaned up the scene.

St. Laurent said no witnesses have indicated that an animal or other vehicle was involved. The accident remains under investigation.

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