UPDATE: Rangeley man tells deputy he drank too much in fatal accident

STRONG — A Rangeley driver was drunk and speeding when his truck crossed the centerline on Lambert Hill Road on Tuesday night and struck another truck head-on, killing the driver in a fiery wreck, police said.

Mark Garner, 24, of Rangeley was arrested at the scene of the crash, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. wrote in a news release.

Garner and his passengers, Felicia Bell, 32, of Phillips and Dennis Hanson, 39, of Phillips, were taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Nichols wrote.

The body of the driver of the Wilton-registered pickup truck was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for identification, the sheriff said. The name was not released Wednesday, although it appears in the state’s complaint against Garner.

According to Nichols, Deputy Andrew Morgan arrived at the accident, reported at 7:46 p.m., to find both trucks on fire. Garner and his passengers were able to get out of their truck, but the driver of the other truck was trapped and extricated after firefighters from Strong extinguished the flames.

The preliminary investigation revealed the Wilton-registered 2004 Chevrolet pickup was headed south and Garner’s 2007 GMC pickup was headed north. Garner was speeding, according to his passengers, and his truck crossed the centerline, hit the Chevrolet and both trucks burst into flames, Nichols wrote.

Garner is charged with felony aggravated operating under the influence resulting in death. After being checked at the hospital, he was taken to Franklin County jail in Farmington. 

Garner appeared before Judge Patrick Ende via videoconference from the jail to Farmington District Court on Wednesday. Assistant District Attorney Claire Andrews requested $15,000 cash bail. She said Garner admitted to driving at excessive speed and drinking.

Ende approved the cash bail. 

A conviction on the felony charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.

The crash remained under investigation, Nichols said.

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