CORINNA — Two accidents within minutes of each other on the Moosehead tourist trail, Route 7, sent six people, including two with serious head injuries, to area hospitals for treatment.
The first accident occurred about 12:30 p.m. when a Jeep slid on slush-covered roads and struck another vehicle head-on. The force of the impact peeled the entire passenger side of the Jeep away from the body of the vehicle, throwing the driver and the passenger more than 15 feet onto the roadway.
The driver of the 1997 Jeep Wrangler, Jason Taylor, 21, of Greenville, was taken to Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft for treatment of serious head injuries. His passenger, a 17-year-old female, was in grave condition and stabilized at Mayo before going to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. She also suffered serious head injuries, said state Trooper Darren Vittum.
Vittum would not release the teen-age girl’s name because of her age but said her injuries were life-threatening. “It was pretty touch-and-go out there,” he said.
The second vehicle, a 1988 Ram Charger, was demolished in the crash. The driver, Robert Speidel, 49, of New Jersey, his wife, Patricia, 49, and a passenger, Michael Lopriest, 20, all were taken to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield for treatment of head, neck, chest and hip injuries.
Lopriest and the seriously injured juvenile both were wearing seat belts, said Vittum.
Within minutes of the first accident, a second accident occurred about five miles south on the same road. According to state Trooper Scott Hamilton, a vehicle pulling a trailer loaded with snowmobiles was headed south on Route 7 when a large sheet of ice flew off the snowmobile trailer. It smashed through the windshield of a 1995 GMC pickup traveling in the opposite direction.
The vehicle and trailer did not stop, said Hamilton, and were probably not even aware of the accident.
The driver of the pickup, Danny Costain, 35, of Brewer, was uninjured, as were his two children in the truck’s back seat. Costain’s wife, Lanci, 27, received facial cuts from the flying glass, and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for treatment.
Firefighters from Corinna and Dexter, as well as ambulances from Mayo, Dexter, Hartland-St. Albans, Corinna and Sebasticook Valley Hospital responded to the call.