CARRABASSETT VALLEY — A Falmouth couple is lucky to have survived after their car collided Sunday afternoon with a Jeep on Route 27, killing the family’s dog, police said.

The driver of the car, Stephen Carew, 51, and his wife, Lisa Carew, 50, were both taken by ambulance to the hospital after the crash, which happened about 2 p.m. just north of the Kingfield town line.

The Carews’ dog was ejected from the car and died at the scene. The couple was treated at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington and released, Carrabassett Valley Police Chief Scott Nichols Sr. said Monday morning.

The couple was distraught over losing the dog, but “luckily nobody was killed” in the horrific crash, Nichols said. He did not know the dog’s breed or name.

Nichols said the couple escaped serious injury because they were wearing seatbelts and the side-impact air bags in their 2005 Honda Accord deployed.

The couple was heading south on Route 27 in a line of traffic when multiple cars attempted to simultaneously pass another vehicle, which witnesses said was driving slower than the 55-mph speed limit, Nichols said.

As the line of cars made the pass on the two-lane highway, an oncoming 2005 Jeep Liberty driven by Sarah Hinkley, 46, of Kingfield, swerved onto the shoulder to avoid them. Hinkley then lost control of the Jeep and it veered back into the roadway and struck the Carews’ car, causing both vehicles to roll over at least once, Nichols said.

Hinkley and her passenger and nephew, Aaron Hinkley, 27, also of Kingfield, were both wearing seatbelts and were not hurt in the crash, Nichols said.

Witness accounts vary about whether the Carews’ car was among those attempting to make a pass. Investigators believe the collision happened near the center line, Nichols said.

No charges or traffic citations are expected to be filed. Nichols believes the crash was caused by the multiple cars making a pass attempt at the same time. He said the maneuver is legal but is not safe.

“Drivers must not give into the temptation to follow other cars while passing a slower vehicle,” he said, adding that cars following a lead vehicle have reduced visibility and less time to react to oncoming traffic.

He did not know how many cars were attempting to make a pass before the crash, or the speed at which the vehicle being passed was traveling. Both vehicles involved in the collision were destroyed.

NorthStar Ambulance service transported the patients. The Carrabassett Valley Fire Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]

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