A Winthrop woman who reportedly caused a deadly head-on crash in March on U.S. Route 202 in Monmouth has been charged with driving illegally in that crash and another that occurred two weeks later.
Alyssa Marcellino, 23, was arrested in Winthrop Monday on charges of operating after suspension causing death and operating after suspension causing serious bodily injury, operating after suspension and operating without a license in connection with a March 6 crash that killed 67-year-old Joan Fortier and badly injured her sister, 70-year-old Gene Potter. Marcellino, who was charged with violating conditions of release, also was charged with operating without a license and operating after suspension in connection with a March 30 crash in Sidney, said District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.
Marcellino also was charged with theft in connection with a stolen firearm. Additional details were unavailable, but Maloney said the charge was unrelated to either crash.
Marcellino was being held at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $20,000 cash bail in connection with the operating after suspension charges and $5,000 cash bail on the theft charge.
All the charges were included in the indictments handed up Thursday by a grand jury in Kennebec County Superior Court.
An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it indicates that there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.
Marcellino had at least one conviction 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 in March that Marcellino’s license was suspended as a result of that conviction. She has paid the fine but had not yet paid a fee to reinstate her driver’s license, the spokeswoman said.
Maloney said her office is still awaiting the state police reconstruction report of the fatal March 6 crash.
“The investigation is ongoing,” she said. “It’s possible there will be more information and there may be more charges in the future.”
The crash occurred around 7:30 a.m. as the Mount Vernon sisters were headed west on U.S. Route 202 in a 2006 Hyundai Elantra. Marcellino, driving a 1999 Mercury Mountaineer, was headed east, according to Monmouth Police Chief Kevin 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.
Fortier, who was in the front passenger’s seat, was killed instantly. Potter and Marcellino were both taken by ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Marcellino was treated and released, but Potter’s injuries were reportedly more significant.
Maloney said Monday that her office is awaiting the reconstruction report before discussing what caused Marcellino’s sport utility vehicle to drift out of its lane and deciding on additional charges. The case for operating after suspension is much easier to make, she said.
“This we can prove 100 percent,” Maloney said. “She knew she was suspended and she was driving.”
Maloney said her office decided to move forward with operating after suspension charges without the reconstruction report because Marcellino was again driving illegally when she crashed March 30 in Sidney. According to a Kennebec Journal report, her car went off the road on Interstate 95.
“That’s when we decided we couldn’t wait for the accident reconstruction report any more,” Maloney said. “We had to act. We know that she was operating without a license and was driving and killed someone. We wanted her to be in custody and didn’t want to wait.”
Craig Crosby — firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @CraigCrosby4