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SUV skids on icy road and overturns, trapping passengers

December 9, 2004

On a shady stretch of Dyke Mountain Road an SUV skidded on the ice and ended up off the road on its side in the trees, trapping two of the five passengers on board. This happened yesterday as temperatures hovered just above freezing and slushy roads became icy and treacherous as the sun dropped behind the trees and the road surfaces cooled.

Sebago Firefighters and Rescue
personnel remove a patient from a
badly damaged car on Dyke Mountain Road

State Police reported that the crash happened about 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2004. Sebago Fire and Rescue were toned out at 1:18 p.m., and Fire fighters Jason Greene and John Lucy were first on the scene at 1:20 p.m. The driver of the car, Mary Robichaud was trapped in the car, as was a female passenger. Robichaud's husband Donald was also injured but was able to get out of the overturned car and remove two other passengers, both children. The children were not injured.

When Fire fighter Greene arrived on the scene he radioed in a report to Naples Dispatch, alerting them to the multiple personal injuries and requesting back up ambulances from Naples and Standish. Sebago Chief Ken Littlefield arrived at the scene of the accident a few minutes after Greene and Lucy and took command of the scene, coordinating fire and rescue units from Sebago, Naples, Standish, and West Baldwin. Sebago Deputy Chief Alan Greene was at Station 1 in Mud City working on the new firehouse addition when the call came in and was able to roll Engine 2 immediately.

State Police investigating the
badly damaged car after patients
were removed to hospitals

After stabilizing the car so that it would not roll over and further injure either patients or fire fighters, Fire fighters Greene and Lucy crawled inside the car to do a preliminary assessment and stabilize the patients until Sebago Rescue and Fire personnel arrived on the scene for further patient assessment and extrication. By that time fire apparatus had arrived and the delicate process of removing the windshield and roof began. Sebago Captain Glenn Snow and Safety Officer Tim Cook used the "Jaws of Life" and other extrication tools to take the car apart so that rescuers could remove the patients safely from the car.

During this whole time the two fire fighters stayed inside the car shielding the patients from flying glass or metal as the car was literally taken apart around them. As more access room was opened up, Sebago EMTs Bill Poor and Mike Foye and Sebago Lt Allen Crabtree were able to also crawl into the car and render additional medical assistance and help prepare the patients for extrication. The driver was removed from the car first, and then the other passenger. Both were rushed to the waiting ambulances on scene.

Sebago Firefighters and Rescue personnel
load a patient from the Dyke Mountain Road
auto accident into the Life Flight
of Maine helicopter for medivac to Lewiston

Because of the life-threatening situation with one of the patients Life Flight of Maine was summoned to air evacuate them to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. While Sebago Chief Littlefield continued scene command, Deputy Chief Greene and several rescue and fire personnel set up a landing zone for the helicopter to land at the ball fields behind the Sebago Elementary School. The transfer from ambulance to helicopter took place without incident, and the patient was successfully transported to Lewiston. The other patients were taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Sebago Chief Littlefield thanks the quick and efficient response by fire and rescue personnel from Naples, Standish, and West Baldwin who assisted Sebago on this difficult rescue. When the Chief was interviewed by Channel 6 television news at the scene he reminded all drivers "Winter is here now. Slow down and drive with caution."

Last updated December 19, 2004

Copyright © 2004, Allen Crabtree

This article was edited and published in the Bridgton News on December 9, 2004.