WINSLOW — Sailing off the road in an 85 mph sprint off a hill, the SUV went tumbling into a pasture, flipping over and over and over.

Screaming. Smashed glass. A caved-in roof.

Jacob York, 19, says he closed his eyes in the car’s back seat as white lights flashed in his face.

When the car stopped its chaotic tumble, landing upright, York and the three others passengers looked up at the driver’s seat. It was empty.

“I thought he was dead,” said 14-year-old Sadie MacDonald, who was in the front seat.

York says he climbed out of the window, looked down, and saw the 16-year-old driver pinned under the car — alive. York yelled for everyone else to get out, and he and MacDonald lifted up a rear corner of the car, pulling the bloodied driver out.


“I tried to take a step, turn, and I collapsed,” York said.

York and MacDonald spoke Wednesday about the Monday afternoon crash on Garland Road in Winslow. The driver and his four passengers were released from the hospital after a few hours Monday night after receiving treatment for minor injuries, York and MacDonald said.

The 16-year-old driver, who received his license in February, has been summonsed on a charge of driving to endanger and fined for violating his license restrictions. He had been driving 85 mph in a 45-mph zone just before the crash, police said. Police have declined to name the driver because he is a juvenile.

“He was just showing off; that’s all it is,” York said of the driver’s speeding.

Before the accident, the five friends were at the 16-year-old’s home in Winslow. Earlier, they had been smoking marijuana, York said.

They got into the 2005 Chevrolet Equinox owned by the 16-year-old’s mother and were heading to Dunkin’ Donuts on Bay Street in Winslow, according to York.


When the teenage driver started picking up speed, going around 70 mph or so, York said he became concerned.

“He started speeding and I said, ‘I got my girlfriend in here, slow down,'” York said, referring to 20-year-old Tinecha Hallee. “He didn’t listen; he just smiled.”

York said he hadn’t been wearing his seat belt, but then he buckled up. Only the teenage driver was no longer wearing a seat belt, he said.

As the Equinox approached a hill, the driver gunned it, getting up to 85 mph, York said. As it went airborne over the hill, the 16-year-old driver swerved to avoid an oncoming car. The Equinox fishtailed, hit a mailbox, went into a ditch and rolled over into a field.

Police said the car rolled over three times, but York and MacDonald said it flipped “at least four or five times.”

Only the driver was ejected from the vehicle, they said, because everyone else was wearing a seat belt.


York said he suffered a concussion and several bruises, while the driver was in Portland on Wednesday because he may have suffered a spine fracture.

Both York and MacDonald said the driver was irresponsible — especially since he was a new driver — and they don’t think there’s anymore they could have done to stop him. Asked whether the use of marijuana could have impaired the driver, York said no, because he thinks the affects of the drug had worn off.

They said the incident made them realize how close they came to death and that they’ll change their driving habits.

York said he has three children.

“I don’t speed no more — I’m scared,” York said. “Me and Tinecha could have died and our kids could have grown up without parents.”

“It’s crazy,” MacDonald said. “We were very blessed. Somebody was looking after us.”

Scott Monroe — 861-9239

[email protected]

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