Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Augusta, Maine: Snow squall prevents helicopter landing

AUGUSTA — Two women were injured in a head-on crash Tuesday morning on a section of Eastern Avenue near Rebecca’s Place restaurant.

Sally Beane, 49, of Manchester, was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. A hospital representative said late Tuesday afternoon Beane was in fair condition after being listed in critical condition earlier in the day.

Lucretia Smith, 51, of Rockland, was taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta and then was transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Police said Tuesday morning Smith was in critical condition, and a hospital spokeswoman said later in the afternoon that she was unable to provide the medical condition of Smith.

Two helicopters were requested initially, but Augusta police Sgt. Christian Behr said a brief snow squall prevented a second helicopter from landing at the scene.

Police said Beane, driving a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero, was traveling east, and Smith, driving a 2004 Chevy Cavalier, was traveling west when they collided head-on.

Maine State Police were reconstructing the accident scene, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Both drivers, who had to be removed from their cars by firefighters, were the only occupants of their vehicles. Both vehicles were damaged heavily in the crash, which occurred about 9:20 a.m. just east of Cony Road.

A section of Eastern Avenue, also known as Route 17, between Spring and Cony roads was closed for more than 90 minutes as emergency personnel responded to the crash. The road was reopened about 11:10 a.m.

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