Teenage driver involved in almost fatal Route 1 crash charged by police

By Ben Holbrook | May 15, 2014

Belfast — The teenage driver who crashed her vehicle near the intersection of the High Street on-ramp to Route 1 was charged by police in connection with the crash.

Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden said the driver, whose name has not been released due to her age, was charged with operating under the influence of inhalants, illegal use of inhalants and operating without a license.

According to previously published reports, McFadden said the 17-year-old driver, who crashed her four-door sedan into a pickup truck stopped on the High Street on-ramp to Route 1 April 23, recovered from the injuries she suffered and was released from Eastern Maine Medical Center late last week.

The young woman's vehicle was traveling north on Route 1 when it traveled over a curb before hitting the pickup truck on the driver's side. After the impact, witnesses to the crash saw what they believed to be smoke coming from the passenger compartment of the vehicle, according to previously published reports.

Witnesses were able to pull the teenager from the vehicle, at which time they discovered she was unconscious and not breathing, McFadden said.

The smoke the witnesses saw in the vehicle was actually dust from the air bag being deployed, McFadden said.

When officers arrived, witnesses had started CPR on the teen before police took over. McFadden said in addition to CPR, officers used an automated external defibrillator on the woman as well.

The young woman was taken to Waldo County General Hospital where her condition improved to the point that she could be transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center.

McFadden said the case has been referred to the district attorney's office for review. He did not know if any additional charges would be filed.

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