A woman from the Oxford County town of Denmark who police say drove into a century-old granite monument to one of Fryeburg’s earliest settlers faces charges of drunken driving and reckless conduct.

Dianne Beausoliel, 68, was driving her 2008 Toyota Rav 4 early Saturday morning – just after midnight – when she lost control of the vehicle and it hit the historic John Stevens Monument at Main and Portland streets, Fryeburg Police Chief Joshua Potvin in a statement Tuesday.

“Witnesses say the vehicle accelerated and swerved into the monument without braking,” Potvin said. “We have submitted a blood sample from the operator to determine her blood alcohol level. My investigating officers had probable cause to believe the operator was impaired.”

Beausoliel was taken to Bridgton Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. She has been charged with operating under the influence and reckless conduct, both misdemeanors. She is scheduled to appear in Bridgton District Court on Aug. 15.

Potvin said the impact of the crash damaged the monument. Town officials are obtaining estimates on what it would cost to repair.

“We believe the 28-ton granite monument is still stable; however, it has shifted clockwise approximately three inches due to the impact,” Potvin said.

In 1972, a truck hit the monument and badly damaged the structure. It was repaired in Barre, Vermont, and fitted with a new base.

The monument was erected in 1902 in memory of John Stevens, who wintered in Fryeburg in the early 1760s.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: