THORNDIKE — Both speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in a one-car crash Thursday night that left one man dead and two others in serious condition, police said.

The car hit a utility pole on Unity Road in Thorndike village about 7:15 p.m. Thursday, snapped the pole and killed a passenger, Oscar Tizon-Brito, 23, a Peruvian national residing in Providence, R.I., according to Waldo County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton.

Two others — Alvaro Soares, 27, of Unity, and his sister, Kelley Soares, 22, of Cranston, R.I., — were taken by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Police said Alvaro Soares was the driver and that the group was leaving a family gathering.

“The two other victims are in very serious condition,” Trafton said Friday, adding that the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

Trafton said the transformer on the utility pole exploded at least twice while he was there.

“When I got to the scene, the transformer was exploding on the pole. Sparks were flying,” Trafton said. He said Kelley Soares was ejected from the car during the accident.

“We had to quickly move her out of the way because sparks were falling near her from the transformer,” Trafton said. “I’ve been in the business for 29 years, and I’ve never seen a transformer explode like that from an accident.”

It took firefighters two hours to get the driver out of the car, and he was alert and talking to crews at that time. Trafton said one firefighter had to be treated for heat exhaustion at the scene.

Trafton said an accident reconstruction unit was at the scene Friday. He said that the early indication is that both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, but would not comment about them specifically.

The road in Thorndike Village was closed and traffic diverted for about four hours, he said.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239
[email protected]