BENTON — Five people were injured, including a North Carolina woman who was flown by helicopter to a Bangor hospital, in a head-on two-car collision on Bangor Road on Monday night.

Carolyn Shade 53, of Green Mountain, N.C., was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier on Bangor Road shortly before 6 p.m., when she collided head-on with a Toyota Prius driven by Benjamin Pederson, 32, of Burnham, according to Capt. Daniel Davies of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Davies said in a press release a witness to the accident saw Shade cross the center line into Pederson’s path, and the two cars collided head-on when Peterson swerved to avoid Shade’s car and Shade attempted to correct her car’s path. Preliminary investigation of the scene supports the account, Davies said.

Shade was trapped in the car and had to be extricated. She was taken by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Also injured was her husband, Billy Shade, 50, who was a passanger in the car. He was taken by ambulance to Inland Hospital in Waterville for non life-threatening injuries.

Pederson and his passengers, Jennifer Gustus, 27, and Joseph Gustus, 24, were taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Hopsital-Thayer campus in Waterville and also treated for non life-threatening injuries, according to Davies.

The crash occurred near Bellsqueeze Road, about a mile from the Clinton town line.
Emergency crews worked at length to remove Shade from the driver’s seat of the Cavalier.

The front end of the Cavalier was crushed flat against the driver’s compartment. The Prius’ front end also was smashed and parts of the cars were strewn in the road.

A LifeFlight helicopter arrived  at 6:33 p.m. and landed on a lawn at 210 Bangor Road. At 6:48 p.m., Shade was moved from the ambulance into the helicopter, and at 6:54 p.m. it took off for Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The crash occurred in a rural area where pastures marked by barbed wire fences line both sides of the road.

Charles Kent, 93, said he was in his house about a quarter-mile away when he heard the crash.

“It sounded just like a bomb went off,” said Kent, a former 26-year chairman of the Benton Board of Selectmen. “It was really loud, loud.”

Kent headed to the scene, where at least one of the cars was burning, with a fire extinguisher.

“I saw the flames,” he said. “There was another guy there. I gave him my fire extinguisher. I don’t know how much good it did.”

Clinton police Chief Craig Johnson said the sheriff’s department requested his presence at the scene, and he and Officer Scott Francis arrived shortly after the crash.

“Fairfield Rescue was already on scene,” Johnson said.

Clinton and Winslow police, as well as the Fairfield Fire Department, assisted Kennebec County sheriff’s deputies at the scene.

Davies said blood analysis of both drivers will be part of the investigation, which is continuing. No charges have been filed.

This story was updated at 10:05 a.m., on Aug. 21, 2012, to correct the rank of Capt. Daniel Davies.

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