MONMOUTH — A Mount Vernon woman is dead and two others are injured after a head-on crash between a car and a sport utility vehicle on U.S. Route 202 Thursday morning.
Joan Fortier, 67, a passenger in the car, died at the scene of the crash, said Monmouth Police Chief Kevin Mulherin.
The driver of the car, Gene Potter, 70, of Mount Vernon, as well as the driver of the SUV, 22-year-old Alyssa Marcellino of Winthrop, were both taken by ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Mulherin said the injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
Potter and Fortier are sisters, according to Potter’s Facebook page.
A spokeswoman at CMMC said Marcellino had been treated and released by Thursday evening and that Potter’s family had requested that no information be released about her condition.
The crash occurred around 7:30 a.m. as Potter and Fortier, in a 2006 Hyundai Elantra, were headed west on U.S. Route 202. Marcellino, driving a 1999 Mercury Mountaineer, was headed east, according to Mulherin.
The Mercury drifted into the westbound lane in front of the Hyundai, he said. Potter swerved into the eastbound lane to avoid the crash as Marcellino corrected to swerve back into the eastbound lane, Mulherin said. The vehicles hit head on.
The crash occurred during the busy morning commute where the road rises and curves slightly after a long straightaway.
There have been a number of crashes at the nearby intersection of Main Street and Blaisdell Road. The state Department of Transportation in recent years has added flashing lights to the intersection in response to the number of crashes.
But Fred Hall, who owns Hall’s Collision Center, said the area in front of his shop has not been a problem spot. Hall, who saw the crash, declined to provide specifics of what he saw.
“It was a head-on,” he said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
Mulherin said Marcellino was operating with a suspended license, but neither speed nor alcohol appeared to be factors in the crash. The investigation is ongoing.
Marcellino was convicted in August in Augusta District Court of violating conditions of release and operating without a license. She was fined $300. A spokeswoman for the Maine Secretary of State’s Office said Marcellino’s license is suspended as a result of that conviction. She has paid the fine but has not yet paid a fee to reinstate her driver’s license, the spokeswoman said.
The section of U.S. Route 202 was shut down briefly immediately after the crash. When the road was reopened, traffic was reduced to one lane for a few hours. Both lanes reopened around 11:30 a.m.