CHESTERVILLE — Excessive speed played a role in a two-car crash that sent both drivers to the hospital Monday afternoon, said a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy.

Dustin Staples, 16, of Farmington, was driving down a hill on a sharp curve on a remote stretch of Borough Road when his car collided near the centerline with an oncoming car, driven by Darlene Phillips, 44, of Chesterville, Deputy Christopher Chase said.

The collision, which occurred about 2 p.m., trapped Phillips in her car, so firefighters used power tools to free her, Chase said, adding that Phillips had a broken ankle and was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. She was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Staples told deputies he was speeding above the posted 45-mph limit where the crash happened, Chase said. He was also taken to the hospital. Chase didn’t know the extent of his injuries, but he said they were not life-threatening. Staples was not wearing a seat belt.

A hospital spokeswoman later Monday didn’t have details about Staples or Phillips, saying they were both being treated just before 5 p.m.

Staples had two passengers, also from Farmington — Alissa Staples, 15, and Janel Brooks, 17 — who were unharmed in the crash. Chase didn’t know whether the girls were wearing seat belts.

Chase does not suspect alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash. He said charges probably would be filed because of other factors in the crash, such as speed. He would not elaborate on the charges, saying he had yet to finish the investigation.

The collision appeared to have happened just past a sharp curve on the remote road, with thick woods on either side that limited visibility. The front driver’s side hood and wheel of Phillips’ Ford Taurus were crushed, and firefighters cut off the dashboard and the door.

Nearby, the Mercury four-door sedan driven by Staples sat in a ditch facing in the wrong direction for that side of the road. The front driver’s-side quarter panel and door frame were crushed and the windshield was smashed. Skid marks and debris covered the road between the two cars.

Fire departments from Farmington and Chesterville as well as area ambulance services assisted at the scene.

David F. Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]


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