The Windham man charged with manslaughter in a fatal car crash on Tandberg Trail in November had cocaine, THC and benzodiazapines in his system and also may have been under the influence of opiates at the time of the crash, court records show.

Manford C. Rideout, 49, struggled to communicate with first responders, slurred his speech and partially lost consciousness after his flatbed tow truck crossed the center line of Route 115 early on Nov. 13 and struck a Toyota Prius, killing Adam Clark, 34, of Augusta. A third driver caught up in the crash, David LaPlante, 59, of Waterville, was not injured.

A Cumberland County grand jury indicted Rideout on manslaughter and other charges last week.

At the time of the crash, Rideout was subject to bail conditions for a pending drug trafficking charge, police said. As part of his bail, Rideout was not supposed to leave his home except for doctor appointments, attorney meetings and court proceedings.

Details of the alleged drug use are contained in a search warrant affidavit filed by Windham police, who were granted permission to search the contents of the truck.

Although Rideout was not seriously injured, police believe his loss of consciousness after the crash was due to opiate use because his condition improved after he was administered two doses of Narcan, a drug primarily used to reverse the effects of opiates.

Rideout also was charged with operating under the influence, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and violating the conditions of his bail, the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office said.

The crash occurred during a heavy rainstorm at about 6:30 a.m. when Rideout crossed the center line of Route 115, striking the Prius head-on, police said.

The affidavit also includes new information about Rideout’s behavior after the crash. Witnesses reported seeing Rideout exit the cab of the flatbed and remove the rear license plate, a dealer plate, which cannot be used on trucks in that manner, police wrote.

When they searched the truck, police found the plate, which was reported missing later that day by it’s registered owner, Jessica Glantz, who operates the Windham business Dynamic Duo. Glantz said the plate was last attached to a vehicle parked at Ron’s Auto Sales.

Police interviewed Rideout the next day at Ron’s Auto Sales in Windham, and Rideout said he had left the business in the flatbed around 6 a.m. the previous morning so he could get gas for his personal vehicle, which had run out of fuel, according to the affidavit.

Rideout told police that he realized he didn’t have cash for the gas, so he turned the flatbed around and headed back toward Ron’s Auto Sales. The crash occurred shortly afterward.

Rideout said he believed a tractor-trailer had crossed the center line into his lane and he had to swerve to avoid it, losing control. Rideout said he didn’t remember anything after that.

When police asked about the drugs in his system, Rideout denied using any drugs but his prescribed medication, then later said he smoked marijuana the day before the crash. When confronted about the positive test for cocaine, Rideout denied using the substance and suggested he may have smoked the marijuana out of a pipe that had cocaine in it. He also denied removing the dealer plate from the truck, and said the truck had the dealer plate attached to it for several days before the crash.

Immediately after the crash in November, someone who answered the phone at Ron’s Auto Sales denied Rideout worked there, but no one was available to speak on Thursday because the business’s phone number has been disconnected.

Rideout has a long history of driving infractions that date to 1988 and run to eight pages of violation history, according to documents provided by the Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Rideout’s license was most recently reinstated on Oct. 19, 2017, after he was suspended on a litany of violations: failure to pay a fine for operating after suspension; two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs; one count of unlawful possession of oxycodone; two counts of failure to report an accident; eluding a police officer; two counts of operating after suspension; failure to display an inspection sticker; and failure to file insurance after an accident.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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