FAIRFIELD — A Skowhegan woman was ticketed for distracted driving after her Pontiac rear-ended a van Wednesday morning on Skowhegan Road.

Fairfield police Officer Shanna Blodgett said five people, including a newborn, a 3-year-old and a partially paralyzed man, were taken to MaineGeneral Hospital Thayer Unit in Waterville. Blodgett said none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Jessica Ward, 24, was fined $119 for failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle, said Blodgett.

The officer said Ward admitted she was talking on her cellphone and reaching to tend to a child in the back seat when she struck the back of a 2004 Dodge Caravan being operated by Paul Chaisson, 63, of Jackman.

Chaisson and his wife, Wanda Chaisson, 60, had stopped in the southbound lane to allow northbound traffic to pass before they turned left into Freihofer’s Baking Co. Ward was driving south in the 50 mph zone with a newborn and 3-year-old when her 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix smashed into the back of the van, Blodgett said.

Both vehicles were totaled in the 9:45 a.m. collision, she said.


Paul Chaisson, who is partially paralyzed and drives with a mechanical aid, complained of pain and was taken by ambulance to a the hospital. So too was Wanda Chaisson, who complained of hip pain.

The newborn and 3-year-old were taken to the hospital as a precaution, as was Ward, who had an abrasion on her head.

The officer said the crash draws attention to the danger of distracted driving.

“This is serious and this is why the distracted driving law was put in effect,” she said. “Everybody here was OK; it could have been much worse.”

Blodgett said all occupants were wearing seatbelts.

When Blodgett arrived on scene, she said a person had already placed cones in the road and was directing traffic around the crash.

Maine State Police and Fairfield fire and rescue personnel also responded to the accident.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

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