SMITHFIELD — An Oakland man was killed early Saturday in a single-car crash about six hours after he had been charged with operating under the influence in Oakland, police said.

The man, Paul L. Caret, 26, died after his car left East Pond Road, struck some large rocks and hit a tree, according to Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

Lancaster said Caret had been charged with drunken driving by an Oakland officer about 1 a.m. It was unclear Saturday whether Caret had been arrested in that incident and subsequently released.

Caret was driving north on East Pond Road in a black 1995 Honda Civic on the wrong side of the road about 6:45 a.m. Saturday when he apparently lost control of the car on a gradual curve and went off the road, Lancaster said.

Lancaster said speed and alcohol appear to have been factors in the crash. A blood-alcohol test will be performed, as is standard procedure in a fatal accident, he said.

Lancaster said Caret was alone in the car at the time of the accident. He was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

No other vehicle was involved.

Lancaster said it was apparent from the accident scene how the crash happened, so there will be no accident reconstruction. Deputy Michael Ross investigated the crash and was assisted at the scene by Smithfield Fire and Rescue. Delta Ambulance also responded.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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