A man who died Sunday in a head-on crash on Route 139 in Benton has been identified by Kennebec County sheriff’s officials as Joseph Defazio, 35, of Benton.

Defazio was driving a 1985 Pontiac Trans Am on Route 139, and other drivers reported seeing the car pass other vehicles on a curved part of the road with a double yellow line before it collided with a 2007 Nissan Frontier pickup truck, according to a press release from Chief Deputy William Johnson of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

“At this time the crash is under investigation; however, speed and intoxicants appear to have been a factor,” Johnson’s press release says.

The crash occurred on the Benton side of the bridge over Fifteen Mile Stream shortly after 3:30 p.m. and was reported at 3:39 p.m.

Both vehicles caught on fire after the collision, but “were quickly put out by the quick thinking of a witness who used a fire extinguisher to suppress the flames,” Johnson’s press release says. “Moreover, another witness pulled the driver of the Nissan out of the vehicle and away from danger before he sustained injuries in the fire.”

Defazio, who was alone in the Trans Am, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Johnson.

The driver of the pickup truck, Nathaniel Hall, 35, of Belfast, suffered multiple injuries described by medical first responders as non life-threatening, according to Johnson’s press release. Hall was alone in his truck.

Johnson said in a telephone interview Monday morning that Hall was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center after the crash and then transferred to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Hall was then taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where a spokeswoman said Monday that Hall was listed in satisfactory condition.

The crash occurred as Maine State Police and other emergency officials were working at the scene of a fatal accident on Route 27 in Sidney in which several bystanders pulled an 8-year-old boy from a pickup truck that had crossed the center line and crashed into another pickup before landing in a ditch.

Seconds later, the pickup the boy had been in erupted in flames. A woman driving the truck, Sherry Turner, 53, of Jay, died at the scene. That crash occurred just before 2 p.m. Sunday.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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