Route 1 crash in Kittery sends two to hospital

Reported by Deborah Mcdermott,
June 23, 2010 2:00 AM
KITTERY, Maine — Two people were sent to the hospital following an accident Tuesday morning at Route 1 and Lewis Road that caused a vehicle to catch fire and closed Route 1 to traffic until after 10 a.m.

According to police, a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis, one of two vehicles involved, was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters reached the scene just after 8:30 a.m. The driver, Frederick Sweeney, 82, of York, Maine, was able to get out of the car before it ignited.

According to Detective Sgt. Ron Avery, a white 2000 Ford Ranger XLT heading north on Route 1 was stopped when Sweeney, traveling north behind it, failed to see it and stop safely.

Police said the truck was experiencing mechanical difficulties and came to a stop in the travel lane.

Avery said the truck, driven by Kenneth Vinal, 92, of Kittery, careened into the southern lane of travel and off the road into a ditch when it was hit. The car, after rear-ending the truck, bounced off and then struck and wrapped around a telephone pole before going up in flames.

Preliminary investigation shows there was no indication that the truck was turning and it did not have a signal light on, Avery said.

Kittery firefighters extinguished the vehicle fire and remained on scene to assist with security and cleanup.

Both drivers were taken to York Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Sweeney was treated and released, and Vinal was later transported to Maine Medical Center, according to Dawn Fernald, spokeswoman for York Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation.

Based on this report, it is apparent that Mr. Vinal will have a claim for his property damage and personal injuries due to Mr. Sweeney’s negligence. The auto accident specialists at Peter Thompson & Associates have handled thousands of similar claims and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We specialize in providing excellent customer service and quick results. For more information, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-917-1784 or read more on our website,, on our car accident practice page.

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