The life of an 8-year-old was saved Sunday during a fatal accident in Sidney while another fatality was registered in a crash in Benton.

On Route 27 in Sidney, bystanders stopped to help out at a two-vehicle crash and pulled a boy from a small truck moments before it exploded with the driver still inside.

According to Trooper Rick Moody, Sherry Turner, 53, of Jay, was traveling south in her 2003 Chevrolet S10 pickup when she crossed the center line, striking an oncoming vehicle, a 2014 Toyota Tundra operated by Robert Rice, 55, of Windsor. Turner’s vehicle rolled over into a ditch on the east side of the road.

Bob Somes, who lives near the accident scene, said that before first responders arrived, about six people stopped and pulled a boy from Turner’s pickup after cutting his seatbelt. In the next moment the truck exploded with Turner still in it.

“If a good Samaritan had taken another 15 seconds to pull the boy out, he would not have been saved,” Somes said. Later, he added: “These bystanders risked their lives to save this boy and they did.”

The 8-year-old passenger with Turner was flown by Life-Flight to Maine Medical Center in Portland with unknown head injuries, according to Moody, but was conscious and alert and talking at the hospital.


Rice, the driver of the Tundra, and his passenger, Raymond Rice, 52, were transported to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, according to Moody. Robert Rice received no serious injuries, the trooper said, and Raymond Rice suffered a broken bone in his leg.

The Belgrade Fire Department arrived with a rescue truck and tanker minutes after Turner’s pickup caught fire and extinguished the blaze, according to Somes. Delta Ambulance also arrived.

Turner was found deceased in her vehicle, Moody reported.

The accident occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m. about one mile north of the Augusta city line on a wide stretch of road abutted by farmland on both sides. Traffic was detoured off Route 27 to Penny and Summerhaven roads and back to Route 27 as police taped off the area to the north and south of the crash site where Rice’s Tundra pickup sat in the middle of the road with its right passenger door and front end smashed in.

Moody indicated the investigation of the accident is ongoing.

Tom Merrow, who lives off Route 27 in Sidney about a half mile from the accident, said he was putting a drive shaft in his plow truck when he heard a lot of sirens and decided to investigate.


“I figured I’d come over and see what it is and make sure it’s none of my family,” he said.

Meanwhile, later in the afternoon Sunday, Kennebec Sheriff’s officers, state police and Fairfield fire officials responded to a fatal crash on Route 139 in Benton near where a new bridge was completed this year over Fifteen Mile Stream.

The two-vehicle crash occurred on the south side of the bridge several miles from the Unity town line.

Law enforcement officials closed Route 139 off around the accident and re-routed traffic to Albion.

Fairfield fire Chief Duane Bickford confirmed a person had died in the crash.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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