A Winslow woman was listed Monday in critical condition at a Bangor Hospital following a two-vehicle crash that occurred Friday morning on China Road in Winslow, according to Winslow police Chief Shawn O’Leary.

Rita Poulin, 88, was driving a Toyota Corolla sedan on South Reynolds Road and was entering China Road to go straight through to North Reynolds Road when the car was struck broadside by a Chevrolet pickup truck being driven toward China on China Road, according to O’Leary. An investigation of the crash showed the Toyota failed to stop at the stop sign at China Road, he said.

“She’s still in critical condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center,” O’Leary said. His report was confirmed late Monday afternoon by a hospital spokesman.

O’Leary said Poulin did not usually travel on that route and got somewhat confused just before the crash, which was reported at 10:13 a.m.

The Toyota landed in the ditch at the corner of North Reynolds and China roads and the pickup landed on its side in the breakdown lane of China Road, also known as Route 137.

The truck was being driven by Gregory Howard, 60, of Union. Inside were his parents, Dwight and Nancy Howard, 86 and 79, respectively, also of Union, who were taken to Thayer Center for Health in Waterville, according to O’Leary. Dwight Howard suffered a fractured vertebrae, he said, and his wife suffered minor cuts that required stitches. Both were treated and released, according to O’Leary. Gregory Howard was treated and released from Inland Hospital in Waterville, according to a spokeswoman there. Two dogs in the truck were rescued by emergency workers.

No charges were filed in the crash, according to O’Leary.

“We don’t anticipate any charges being filed,” he said.

Neighbors in the area say they feel it is a dangerous intersection and something should be done there.

According to figures O’Leary has researched, 16 crashes have occurred at the intersection in the last 10 years, since 2008. Of that number, five included personal injury and 11 were property damage only.

In the last 10 years, 118 crashes have occurred on China Road in Winslow, from about Kim’s Garage near the end of Carter Memorial Drive to the China town line, according to O’Leary. Of those 118 crashes, 57 resulted in personal injury and 61 in property damage only, he said.

“That’s very high,” he said, adding that if one or more vehicles involved are traveling at 50 mph, it’s a “tragedy just waiting to happen.”

O’Leary said he thinks a rumble strip needs to be installed in the center of the road along that stretch from Kim’s to the town line, as many accidents occur because a vehicle crosses the center line.

“That would not have prevented this crash whatsoever, but statistically, on the number of high speed traffic crashes in China Road, I feel that a center rumble strip may reduce the number of crashes,” O’Leary said.

He said he has spoken with an official at the state Department of Transportation about the possibility of installing a rumble strip if the pavement condition allows.

Meanwhile, O’Leary recommends drivers use caution, travel the speed limit and maintain “situational awareness” at all times.

“That includes not texting and driving, not consuming substances while driving and being very aware of what their surroundings are,” he said. “Unfortunately in this event, people traveling west on China Road did not anticipate somebody running the stop sign. Those are the types of things that are kind of unpreventable for the person who is traveling on China Road. It is difficult.”

He said no alcohol or distracted driving were involved in the Friday crash. The speed limit on China Road near the intersection is 35 mph.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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