Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BELGRADE — Police believe alcohol played a role in a high-speed crash Saturday that killed an Oakland woman and left two men seriously injured.
Kristin Lawler, 20, a front-seat passenger in a car driven by her brother, Travis Lawler, died at the scene of the crash, said Maine State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland.
Jackson Bolduc, 25, of Belgrade, a passenger in the back seat of the 2011 Toyota Carolla, was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer campus in Waterville with life-threatening injuries, McCausland said. Bolduc was subsequently taken by a LifeFlight of Maine helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
A third passenger, Dylan Desroches, 20, who also was riding in the backseat, was taken by LifeFlight to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with serious injuries, McCausland said.
Travis Lawler, 22, fled the accident on foot, according to Maine State Police Trooper Breanne Petrini. Lawler, a U.S. Marine home on leave from North Carolina, ran to a nearby home, Petrini said. Police were organizing a search with dogs when the property owner called police.
“The resident, who has no affiliation with Lawler, called in reference to him being on his property,” Petrini said.
Police confronted Lawler a short time later. He was taken to Thayer for treatment of cuts and scrapes, Petrini said.
The crash occurred around 11 p.m., Saturday, in North Belgrade, as Travis Lawler was driving on dead-end Horse Point Road, which runs from Great Pond to Smithfield Road, which is Route 8.
Lawler, who was driving toward Smithfield Road, lost control of the car just east of the Stevens Road/Merryweather Lane intersection. McCausland said Lawler’s car was traveling at a high rate of speed when it went off the road on a curve and slammed into a tree.
“Troopers say speed and alcohol are going to be the cause of the crash,” McCausland said.
Petrini said it does not appear Kristin Lawler, Bolduc or Desroches were wearing seat belts. Investigators have not yet determined if Travis Lawler was belted in.
A team of troopers and Oakland Police Sgt. Peter Tibbetts responded to the crash, as did Belgrade firefighters and Delta rescue.
The crash remains under investigation, Petrini said. The crash was reconstructed and mapped and police took a blood sample from Travis Lawler to test for substances, which is standard procedure in crashes that cause death or serious injury. No charges had been filed as of Sunday evening.
Published reports indicate all four passengers graduated from Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Kristin Lawler and Desroches, both of whom were honor students, graduated in 2010. Bolduc, also an honor student, graduated in 2005 and Travis Lawler graduated in 2008. His FaceBook page says Lawler joined the Marines shortly after graduation and works as a landing support specialist.