A Whitefield man rescued from his vehicle by passers-by moments before it erupted into flames has been charged with drunken driving.

Dana G. Darveau, 42, was arrested on charges of violating conditions of release and operating under the influence at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, where he had been treated for minor injuries after the crash, said Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. Darveau was being held without bail at the Kennebec County jail.

The crash occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday after police received a report of a van being driven erratically that hit mailboxes on Windsor Road in Chelsea. The van crashed a few minutes later on Eastern Avenue. Reardon said the van rolled over, trapping Darveau inside, as a fire ignited. Good Samaritans rolled the van over and helped Darveau escape from the van.

Reardon did not have the identity of the rescuers or know how many people helped.

“The first thing the operator did when he got out of the van was ask for a beer,” Reardon said.

Kennebec County Sheriff’s Deputy Philip Lynch followed Darveau’s ambulance to MaineGeneral, where he told the deputy he had “three or four beers,” Reardon said.


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