A Scarborough woman died Sunday morning from injuries she suffered during a car accident involving a driver with a suspended license and an extensive history of traffic violations, including convictions after a fatal crash 11 years ago.

Tina Turcotte, 40, of Scarborough, died at Eastern Maine Medical Center from injuries following a July 29 accident on Interstate 95 in Hallowell.

According to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police, which is investigating the incident, Turcotte allowed a tractor-trailer without a trailer to enter in front of her vehicle and was then struck in the rear by another tractor-trailer driven by Scott Hewitt, which pushed her vehicle into the truck in front. Turcotte was trapped inside her vehicle for more than an hour before rescue personnel could extract her from the vehicle.

Hewitt, 32, of Caribou, who was transporting a load of broccoli, was arrested on two warrants charging failure to pay fines and also has a suspended drivers license. He suffered a broken kneecap in the accident, McCausland said.

In the wake of the crash, Gov. John Baldacci has called for a review of Maine’s laws and regulatory efforts regarding commercial vehicle drivers.

Hewitt was bailed out of Kennebec County Jail Friday night. McCausland said he anticipates further charges being filed, but not until a crash report is finalized, which will take some time. Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle will make the decision regarding further charges.

Hewitt was involved with a fatal accident in 1994 when he was hauling a truck loaded with junk cars that fell over in South Berwick trapping Scott Davis, 25, in his car while it burned, according to McCausland.

The incident resulted in Hewitt pleading guilty to driving an unsafe and improperly loaded motor vehicle, falsifying duty logs and failing to inspect a vehicle. He received a six-month suspended sentence and one year of probation.

He has had his license suspended 19 times and has been convicted of operating after suspension twice. He has been in five accidents, according to Deputy Secretary of State Doug Dunbar.

State records show his license was revoked for a year for being a habitual offender in June 1996. In August of that year, he was convicted of operating a vehicle after revocation. In total, Hewitt has been convicted of more than 44 traffic violations in seven states since 1992.

Hewitt’s trucking company, Hewitt Transportation, also had its license suspended in May for failure to comply with federal regulations, Dunbar said.

Deputy Secretary of State Doug Dunbar said his office enforced all available laws and said the Legislature can make any changes it sees fit to the state’s laws.

“We can only impose the penalties on the books,” he said. “We certainly have imposed all the penalties on Mr. Hewitt and people in his situation that are available to use under the law.”

In Maine the only crime that can lead to permanent license revocation is an OUI manslaughter conviction, according to Dunbar. Even then the individual may petition the state for reinstatement after 10 years.

Turcotte, a breast cancer survivor in 2000, was a 1983 graduate of South Portland High School and was a self-employed accountant, according to her obituary. Previously she had been employed by Woodard and Curran and was a hair stylist for Image Makers and Ritz.

She loved animals and traveling. The family declined to comment for the story. She is survived by her husband Scott and a large extended family.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.