WEST GARDINER — A crash that sent a pickup truck through the guardrail and into Cobboseecontee Stream at Horseshoe Pond on Sunday remains under investigation.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office reports that when deputies first arrived at the crash scene following a spate of calls to 911 shortly before 4 p.m., Chase Cloutier, 19, of Winthrop, was coming out of the water and no vehicle could be seen in the water.

According to the sheriff’s department, Cloutier had been driving a 2010 Toyota Tundra at a high rate of speed when it went off state Route 126, nearly striking several people who were fishing off the bridge abutment. The vehicle crashed through some trees and landed in the water.

West Gardiner Fire Chief Mike Gross said Monday the crash was reported shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, and when firefighters arrived, the vehicle was under about 10 feet of water.

“The vehicle left the roadway in Litchfield and landed in West Gardiner,” Gross said.

Cloutier, according to the sheriff’s office news release, was able to free himself from the cab of the truck by breaking a window and swam to shore. While he had minor injuries, he refused medical treatment.

Cloutier was issued a summons on a charge of imprudent speed.

In addition to the West Gardiner Fire Department, Litchfield Fire-Rescue, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Environmental Protection responded to the crash. AC Towing pulled the vehicle from the water, assisted by the dive team from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

The bridge is the site of a similar single-vehicle crash in 2019, when a Sabattus woman traveling east on Route 126 reportedly lost control of her vehicle, struck the guardrail and careened through a clearing before coming to rest 30 or 40 feet into the stream.

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