FAIRFIELD — A volunteer driver for a local social service agency was hospitalized Thursday morning when her vehicle veered off the road, rolling down an embankment and landing upright in a nearby pond with water rising up to the windshield.

The car, which had a KV Van transport vehicle decal on the door, reportedly went off Middle Road shortly after 9 a.m., a short distance from the Back Road intersection. The northbound car rode up and over the guardrail and down an embankment to the water.

The driver was taken to a hospital, according to a firefighter at the scene.

Fairfield police Sgt. Matthew Bard later identified the driver as Carol McManus, 75, of Skowhegan. She was driving her own 2005 Buick LaCrosse when she apparently lost control on the wet road as rain fell across the region.

“She was traveling north on the Middle Road and lost control. The vehicle hydroplaned,” Bard said. “It rolled over several times over the guardrail, down the embankment and landed in about 4 feet of water on its wheels.”

Bard said McManus was wearing a seat belt, which probably saved her life. She was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan for evaluation, and it appeared she did not suffer any serious injury.

The car was destroyed. Bard said McManus might have been driving too fast for the road conditions, but she will not be charged. No other factors contributed to the crash, he said.

“The person is a volunteer driver for KVCAP who does work for us by referral and operates her own private car,” said Jim Wood, transportation development director at Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, by phone Thursday afternoon. “She was not transporting KVCAP passengers at the time of the incident. It was her private vehicle that she was operating. She was transported to the hospital, and we have been in contact and we’re hoping that everything is OK with her.”

Wood said volunteer drivers are reimbursed for mileage but are not paid for their work.

“She’s part of our volunteer driver pool, and volunteer drivers are a very important part of our operation,” Wood said. “We rely very heavily on volunteers to provide our services. As of last year, our volunteers did over 93,000 trips for us and transported passengers 2.8 million miles.”

According to the agency’s website, the KV Van transportation program offers “door-to-door van and volunteer driver services to passengers who are eligible under specific social service organization guidelines.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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