TOPSHAM — Police are investigating the cause of a motor vehicle accident Dec. 16 that left one man dead and another with severe injuries.

Police Chief Chris Lewis said dispatchers received word at 8:29 p.m. of the head-on collision, which occurred in the area of Route 196 and Roberts Hill Road.

Howard Wilson, 70, of Lisbon, was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe toward Lisbon. The other driver – Richard Wright, 71, of Topsham – was operating a Ford Ranger and heading east on Route 196 toward Topsham. He reportedly crossed the center line and struck Wilson’s vehicle.

Wright died at the scene, Lewis said.

About a mile before the collision, Wright reportedly sideswiped another vehicle, forcing it into a ditch, Lewis said. The driver of that vehicle, Nichole O’Farrell of Topsham, was uninjured.

Lisbon emergency responders took Wilson to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with severe injuries to his lower extremities, Lewis said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Sgt. Robert Ramsay is handling the case for Topsham Police, and the Brunswick Police Department is reconstructing the crash.

Route 196 was closed to traffic until about midnight Monday, Lewis said.

“We’re going to rely on the investigation and the accident reconstruction to try to fill in the missing pieces,” he said.

Another fatal accident occurred on Route 196 in Topsham eight days before. Salima Nuh, 37, of Auburn, was driving east at 3:32 p.m. when her vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by Robert Robitaille, 52, of Lisbon, according to a Police Department news release.

Nuh, who was pregnant, died from her injuries.

Robitaille, who was traveling westbound, apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into the other lane.

The two crashes occurred about 100 yards apart.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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