Speed and alcohol are throught to be contributing factors in a single-vehicle crash Thursday morning on Route 23 in Canaan that destroyed the vehicle and briefly trapped the driver inside.

Kenneth Bennett, 60 of Dexter, was driving a 2007 four-door Impala with 14-day plates north on Harland Road, which is Route 23, when he apparently lost control trying to negotiate a curve, according to Dale Lancaster, chief deputy with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

The Impala left the road just after 11 a.m., struck a pine tree and rolled onto its side, coming to rest after striking a utility pole.

A LifeFlight helicopter was sent to the scene because Bennett was pinned inside the car. Bennett was freed by emergency personnel using a hydraulic extrication tool and taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan. The helicopter was not needed and was turned back, Lancaster said.

Bennett’s injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Lancaster said evidence at the scene — tire skid marks — led Detective Michael Ross, who is reconstructing the crash, to believe Bennett was traveling too fast as he approached the curve. Lancaster said Bennett later admitted that he had been drinking and smelled heavily of alcohol at the scene.

Route 23 was closed for about three hours, as traffic was re-routed around the area of the accident.

Hartland and Canaan fire departments responded. The crash is under investigation. Investigators will consult with the District Attorney’s Office on possible charges against Bennett, Lancaster said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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