AUBURN — A Lewiston man who was driving with a suspended license when he was involved in a fatal head-on crash in 2013 on Thursday successfully completed  a two-year stint during which he was forbidden to drive or run afoul of the law.

Spencer Emerson, 24, of 78 Winter St., Lewiston, appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Thursday afternoon, where he was allowed to withdraw an earlier guilty plea to a felony charge and to enter a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of operating after suspension, for which he was fined $250.

He had lost his license and spent a month behind bars two years ago after pleading guilty to a charge of driving to endanger, a misdemeanor. He had faced two felony charges in the crash. Both have been dismissed by prosecutors.

Emerson’s license had been suspended because he had failed to pay a ticket for a civil traffic infraction in April 2013. Had he paid the reinstatement fee after the monthlong suspension, he would have avoided criminal charges in the wake of the July 2013 crash.

Charlene McKeen, 80, of Sabattus was killed when the car in which she was a passenger collided with Emerson’s car on Route 196 in Lewiston. The driver of the car in which McKeen had been a passenger was 80-year-old Arlene Harris of Lisbon, who survived the crash. She suffered fractures to both hip bones, two ribs, her pelvis and an arm. Her liver was bruised and her foot was nearly severed.

Emerson had been listening to music on his iPhone while driving with an earbud in one ear, according to prosecutors. Emerson briefly glanced down and that was the last thing he remembered from the incident. He had not been calling or texting on his phone and there was no indication he was otherwise impaired, prosecutors said.

Spencer Emerson appears in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn on Thursday afternoon. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: