WHITEFIELD – Police say a distracted driver is to blame in Tuesday’s near head-on crash involving a police cruiser on Townhouse Road that injured two people, including a deputy sheriff.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Gilbert, 41, and Gabriela Soohey, 42, of Searsmont each suffered non- life-threatening injuries, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash occurred around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday as Gilbert drove his cruiser, a 2011 Crown Victoria, north on Townhouse Road. Soohey was driving south in a 2002 Chevrolet Prism sedan.

“As Ms. Soohey approached a right curve she became distracted by her cellular telephone,” sheriff’s officials said.

“Ms. Soohey’s vehicle entered the northbound travel lane and into the path of Deputy Gilbert.”

Gilbert steered to the right and hit his brakes in attempt to avoid Soohey’s car.

Soohey also hit her brakes before the cars hit nearly head-on, officials said.

Soohey had to be extricated from her car. She was taken to the hospital with what were believed to be non- life-threatening injuries.

A nearby resident helped Gilbert from his cruiser. He was treated for minor abrasions to his arms.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts.