A Volvo sedan driven by Shayla Getchell, 22, of Wales and a Subaru Outback driven by Matthew Byras, 44, of Litchfield lie on Route 126 after a head-on collision in October 2020. Sabattus Police Department photo

LEWISTON — A Litchfield man is facing a felony charge stemming from an October head-on crash that seriously injured a Wales woman.

Matthew Byras, 44, of 309 Dennis Hill Road is charged with aggravated driving to endanger, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

He appeared in 8th District Court this week for the first time on the charge, but didn’t enter a plea.

The case must be presented to a grand jury for indictment before it can go to trial because it’s a felony charge, Judge Rick Lawrence said.

He appointed an attorney to represent Byras, who met the income guidelines, because he is facing the possibility of time behind bars, if convicted.

The crash happened Oct. 20 in Sabattus on Route 126 near the intersection of Route 9.


Both Byras and the oncoming car’s driver, Shayla Getchell, 22, of Wales were seriously injured, police said.

A preliminary investigation showed that the 2013 Subaru Outback driven by Byras was headed east and crossed the centerline of the highway, also known as Sabattus Road, and struck a westbound 2008 Volvo sedan driven by Getchell.

Byras had to be freed from his car by firefighters, police said.

Both drivers were taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston where they were listed in fair condition.

The crash was reconstructed by a member of the Lewiston Police Department due to the severity of the injuries.

After Wednesday’s court hearing, Byras remained free on his own recognizance. He must abide by conditions of his release, which include no possession of alcohol and illegal drugs for which he can be searched and tested at random.

Byras also is barred from having any contact with Getchell.

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