An off-duty Maine Marine Patrol officer has been charged with operating under the influence after a head-on crash in Damariscotta early Saturday.

Brandon Bezio, 26, of Tenants Harbor was taken into custody by Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies after the pickup truck he was driving collided with a tractor-trailer on Route 1 around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Bezio had been driving his 2011 Toyota Tacoma north in the oncoming lane for about a quarter-mile before striking the southbound Volvo tractor-trailer head on, according to the sheriff’s office.

The driver of the tractor-trailer tried to avoid the collision, according to investigators.

A female passenger in the pickup truck was ejected from the vehicle and suffered severe injuries to her lower extremities, according to the sheriff’s office. She was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland and her injuries were not considered life-threatening. A male passenger in the tractor-trailer was also hospitalized after complaining about back pain.

Neither Bezio nor the driver of the tractor-trailer, Edgar Garcia, 26, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was injured in the crash.

Bezio has been with the Marine Patrol since 2013. He works out of the Rockland field office and patrols between St. George and Warren, according to a Marine Patrol roster. In March, he was named Marine Patrol Officer of the Year by the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.

The Marine Patrol will conduct an internal investigation into the incident, Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols said Monday. Nichols would not say if Bezio had been placed on leave.

Bezio was charged with Class D misdemeanor OUI. His initial court date is Aug. 31 in Wiscasset.

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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