WINDSOR — A Jefferson man was killed early Wednesday morning when his sport utility vehicle slammed into a utility pole on Route 17, then burst into flames.
Devan J. Basinet, 23, died at the scene of the crash, said Deputy Chief Ryan Reardon, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. An autopsy determined Basinet died of blunt impact to the head and torso and not as a result of the fire.
Rescuers found Basinet’s vehicle, believed to be a Chevrolet Blazer, engulfed in flames. Basinet, who was still inside, was burned beyond recognition, Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said. The vehicle was towed to the Office of the State Medical Examiner, where the body was removed.
Investigators determined Wednesday afternoon that Basinet was the driver after comparing medical and dental records.
Reardon said earlier in the day that they had heard from Basinet’s family, which reported the man had not returned home as scheduled.
Investigators were able to retrieve only partial vehicle identification and license plate numbers because of damage caused by the fire.
The vehicle appears to be a Chevrolet Blazer from the 1990s or early 2000s and was believed to be tan or gold.
“All the paint is burned off except for a small piece on the passenger’s side,” Reardon said.
Only one person was in the car, and no other vehicles were involved in the crash, Liberty said.
The crash was reported around 3:40 a.m. at the intersection of routes 17 and 32, also known as Ridge Road. The vehicle was heading from Augusta toward Lincoln County, Reardon said. The vehicle left the road and hit a utility pole before landing in the ditch.
Based on the extent of the damage, Reardon said, it is possible the vehicle burned for some time before the accident was reported.
Reardon said investigators still are trying to determine whether speed or alcohol was a factor in the crash. Reardon asked anyone with information about the crash to call Deputy Jeremy Day at the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office at 623-3614, ext. 1803.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642