Three vehicles were involved in a Thursday night crash on Crowley Road in Sabattus. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

SABATTUS — A local man has been charged in a Thursday night crash on Crowley Road that left more than half a dozen people injured.

Police said Nicholas Hebert, 33, of Sabattus was charged with driving to endanger and driving with a suspended license. Further charges may be filed as the investigation continues, according to Sabattus Police Chief Erik Baker.

Police said speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Investigators said Hebert was driving about 8 p.m. on Crowley Road when his Saab 9-3 crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic. The Saab sideswiped a Honda Odyssey driven by Ronald Cadima Camara, 34, of Greene, police said. Herbert’s car slammed head-on into a Dodge Dakota driven by Michael Ratcliff, 32, of Lewiston.

Hebert was alone in his vehicle, police said, and suffered minor injuries. Ratcliff was evaluated at the scene and released.

In the Odyssey, Camara and seven other family members ranging in age from 10 months to 57 years old were injured. Several were taken to a Lewiston hospital with injuries described as serious but not life-threatening.


Three vehicles were involved in a collision Thursday night on Crowley Road near Deerfield Drive in Sabattus. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The crash was categorized as a mass casualty event, and drew firefighters and paramedics from nearby departments, including Lisbon, Lewiston, Durham, Turner, Topsham, Auburn and Poland.

More than two dozen firefighters, paramedic and police officers in all were involved in the rescue effort. According to Sabattus Fire Chief Troy Cailler, firefighters in his department had just finished a tactical emergency casualty care class Monday and Tuesday, which helped them to better respond to the mass casualties they were faced with Thursday night.

“They did a hell of a job,” Cailler said. “I’m proud of them.”

The crash occurred at Crowley Road and Deerfield Drive, a short distance from the intersection at Grove Street. In the aftermath of the wreck, several neighbors rushed to the scene to help the victims as fire and rescue crews were on the way. 

Ronald and Catherine Giasson were among them. The couple has lived at 367 Crowley Road for 50 years and have seen their share of crashes there. When the collision occurred in front of their home Thursday night, one of the vehicles took out their mailbox and the minivan landed in the Giassons’ front yard. 

The couple immediately called for help and rushed out to see what they could do. Ronald Giasson tore through air bags in an attempt to get at the driver of the Saab, who was sprawled across the front seats, bleeding and barely conscious. 


They also attempted to attend to the family in the minivan, who had suffered a variety of injuries. 

“I felt so bad for the mother,” Catherine Giasson said. “She had all these little kids with her.” 

One of the boys from the minivan appeared to have suffered a broken collar bone, Catherine said. One of the girls had a big welt on her face. 

Other neighbors also rushed out to help in a variety of ways. One of them helped to direct traffic around the scene while the Sabattus police officer on the scene dealt with other things. 

Catherine Giasson brought chairs out for the mother from the minivan and others who were shaken from the crash. 

“Some of them were really hurting,” she said. 


The Giassons said they have seen more crashes in front of their home than they can count.  

Two years ago, a 40-year-old motorcyclist was killed after his Harley-Davidson slammed into a Subaru near the intersection of Crowley Road and Grove Street. In that crash, the dead man landed in a driveway across the street from the Giassons’ home. 

Around that time, it was estimated that more than 2,000 drivers a day pass through the area. Drivers headed from Grove Street have a stop sign, but “half of them never even stop,” Catherine said. “Half the people going the other way never put their blinkers on.” 

A lot of people speed through the intersection, too, the Giassons said, which has contributed to many of the wrecks they’ve seen there. 

Sabattus police were continuing to investigate the Thursday night crash.

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