A collision in November 2020 on the Waterville Road in Norridgewock resulted in the death of 85-year-old Sally McKinley of Farmington. Her 2003 Cadillac Deville, left, collided head-on with a 2010 Ford Fusion driven by a Norridgewock man, Joshua Savage. Authorities say Savage was under the influence of drugs when his car crossed the center line and struck McKinley’s car. Savage pleaded no contest Friday to charges of manslaughter and criminal operating under the influence and was sentenced to four years in prison. Somerset County Sheriff’s Office photo

AUGUSTA — A Norridgewock man was sentenced Friday to spend four years in prison on a manslaughter charge stemming from a 2020 car wreck that killed a woman and injured her son.

Prosecutors said the man, Joshua Savage, 33, used fentanyl before driving. They say he crossed the centerline and struck an oncoming car, killing Sally McKinley, 85, and leaving her adult son, William McKinley, 59, who is disabled and relied upon her for his care, with a broken wrist and ribs. The McKinleys were both from Farmington.

Savage pleaded no contest Friday to charges of manslaughter and criminal operating under the influence for his role in the crash.

He was sentenced by Justice Deborah Cashman to 12 years in prison with all but four years suspended, and four years’ probation. That means he’s expected to serve the next four years in prison, but if he violates the terms of his probation he could be subject to the full, 12-year term.

Prosecutor Frank Griffin, first assistant district attorney for Somerset County, said Savage’s blood tested positive for multiple drugs including cocaine and fentanyl, and he had used fentanyl “in the very recent past based on his blood chemistry.” He said a logical and foreseeable result of using fentanyl and then driving was that a driver could nod off and lose control of the vehicle and kill himself or, as in this case, another person.

An emotional Bob McKinley, Sally McKinley’s son and William’s brother, testified in court Friday that he and his mother were best friends and his mother was also the primary caregiver to William, who has intellectual disabilities and, until his mother’s death, had lived his entire life in his parent’s home.


He said the family has since struggled to find care for William and the relationship between he and his siblings has deteriorated.

“My mother was a God-fearing, church-going, give-of-herself unconditionally, most loving person one could ever know,” he said. “That night changed my family irreversibly.”

Savage, who is still in a wheelchair due to injuries he suffered in the crash, apologized to the McKinley family.

“I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the family I hurt that bad,” he said. “I’m sorry. If I could go back in time and never get back in that vehicle, I would.”

Savage’s no contest plea, which has the same effect as a guilty plea, was made conditionally. His attorney, Jeremy Pratt, said he plans to file an appeal of the court’s decision to deny his motion to suppress evidence that resulted from a search warrant used to obtain Savage’s blood from the hospital. He said the warrant was obtained incorrectly.

Pratt said Savage took responsibility for the crime even though he has no memory of the crash. He said that’s why he pleaded no contest, because he could not plead guilty or not guilty as he has no memory of the incident.


Cashman acknowledged Savage suffered profound injuries in the crash and was in a medically induced coma for six weeks during his recovery, and he will likely have health problems for the rest of his life as a result.

“The court recognizes (Savage’s) injuries will continue to have an impact on his life and there will be difficulties others in his situation would not experience,” she said. “But I agree with the state’s analysis that these injuries are a result of Mr. Savage’s choice and conduct that day, so I have to balance that.”

Savage must pay a fine of $2,100 after his release from prison, and will lose his license for the mandatory minimum of 10 years.

Savage initially made bail but was arrested on a bail violation in June of this year and had remained in custody since.

He pleaded guilty to violating a condition of release as part of Friday’s proceedings at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. Cashman said his bail conditions included that he not use any illegal substances and, while the manslaughter case against him was still pending, he violated bail by using heroin and had to be revived with naloxone after suffering an overdose.

She urged him to seek resources to help with his substance use disorder while in the Department of Corrections system.

Savage’s mother and grandmother were in court Friday but did not testify. Pratt said they supported him and noted that having supportive family members has been shown to help prisoners and will also help him while on probation. Probation conditions include that Savage not use alcohol or illegal drugs, not contact either of the two McKinley brothers or their sister, undergo substance abuse counseling, and not operate a motor vehicle.

Griffin said the Nov. 17, 2020, crash occurred around 5 p.m. on the Waterville-Norridgewock Road, on a long straightaway while there were no weather issues. He said McKinley died at the scene from blunt force trauma, and Savage had to be extracted from his vehicle.

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