Authorities are still investigating a two-vehicle head-on collision Tuesday afternoon in Manchester that left a 22-year-old Mount Vernon woman dead.

Courtlyn M. Donato was driving a 2000 Ford Explorer east toward Augusta and collided with a 2016 F-250 Ford pickup headed west on U.S. Route 202 near Pelton Hill Road about 1 p.m., according to Kennebec County Sheriff Ryan Reardon.

“Right now there’s no explanation as to why the vehicle turned into the lane at this point,” Reardon said Wednesday morning. “It’s possible it’s driver inattention and overcorrection.”

Donato, who died at the scene of the crash, was trapped in her vehicle and had to be removed by firefighters using extraction tools.

The driver of the pickup, Wayne Bartlett Jr., 36, of St. Albans, and his passenger, Robert A. Folsom, 55, of Cambridge, were taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, as was Donato’s passenger, Steven Sirois, 23, of Manchester. Their injuries were reported as minor, and all were treated and released from the hospital.

According to a press release from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, Bartlett was asked to provide a blood sample as part of the investigation.

“There was no evidence to suggest he was impaired,” said the release from Reardon. The same release said, “It is not believed that drugs or alcohol are factors in the crash.”

Authorities said Donato’s vehicle crossed the center line and struck Bartlett’s pickup head-on. Both vehicles had extensive front end damage.

The crash closed Route 202 for almost three hours Tuesday afternoon to allow for accident reconstruction. Donato was a 2011 graduate of Maranacook Community High School in Readfield.

The accident occurred in an area that has seen a number of crashes in recent years, and the state Department of Transportation recently marked the center lane as a turning lane on that section of the road. A year ago, state officials said an average of 20,000 vehicles a day travel that part of Route 202.

“The Ford Explorer driven by Donato went through a section of the center turn lane and struck the vehicle,” Reardon said. “It’s certainly a tragic loss for the family. It’s awful that this happened.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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