LEWISTON — A Norway man charged with fleeing the scene of a crash in Mechanic Falls in February and leaving a critically injured passenger behind will spend two months in jail.

Eric Campbell Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file pho

A judge in 8th District Court sentenced Eric Campbell, 34, to 2½ years Monday, with all but 60 days suspended. When Campbell is released, he will be on probation for two years.

Campbell pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Prosecutors dismissed a felony charge of aggravated driving to endanger.

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 at 107 Pleasant St.

An accident reconstruction expert from Maine State Police estimated the truck had been traveling at least 60 mph when it hit the pole. He found there were no contributing factors in the roadway, such as adverse weather, that might have contributed to the cause of the crash.

Campbell’s passenger, Richard Cole, 34, of Norway, was listed in critical condition at a Lewiston hospital after the crash, with skull and rib fractures. He was in a coma for a “significant period” of the two weeks he spent in the hospital, according to Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mador.

Police said Campbell fled the scene after climbing out of the truck’s shattered windshield. His movements were tracked through town, but he was not 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. Although officers could smell alcohol on him, he was not administered a test to determine his blood-alcohol content.

During probation, Campbell will be barred from having or using alcohol and illegal drugs for which he can be searched and tested at random. He may use marijuana if he has a medical marijuana prescription, the judge said.

Campbell must undergo substance abuse evaluation and counseling. He will be prohibited from entering Shooters Sports Pub in Mechanic Falls and any establishment that primarily serves alcohol. Campbell had been at Shooters on his way home when the crash occurred, according to witnesses.

Campbell was ordered to pay Central Maine Medical Center $5,000 in restitution.


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