Eric Campbell

LEWISTON — A Norway man charged with fleeing the scene of a crash in Mechanic Falls in February and leaving a critically injured passenger behind pleaded not guilty Friday.

Eric Campbell, 34, entered pleas in 8th District Court to leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death, and driving to endanger, both felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison.

Court records say Campbell is expected to change his plea to guilty on one or both charges or to a related felony charge when he returns to court next month.

Police said Campbell was driving a pickup truck in Mechanic Falls at about 11:15 p.m. on Feb. 5 when it struck a utility pole and a tree at 107 Pleasant St.

His passenger, Richard Cole, 34, of Norway, was listed in critical condition at a Lewiston hospital after the crash with several facial fractures.

Police said Campbell fled the scene after climbing out of the truck’s shattered windshield. His movements were tracked through town, but he wasn’t found. Campbell’s cousin picked him up in Mechanic Falls and gave him a ride to the police station there early the next morning, police said.

An attorney representing Campbell at his initial appearance in court told the judge Campbell is married with three children, has never failed to appear in court and hasn’t violated conditions of probation for past criminal convictions.

“He perhaps panicked at the scene but did the right thing and turned himself in,” attorney Ed Rabasco told the judge.

Campbell is free on $1,500 cash bail. Conditions of his release include no possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs, for which he can be searched and tested at random. He must not have contact with Cole and must not go to any establishment that serves alcohol.

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: