What remains of a Chevy Tahoe struck by a Ford Ranger on Route 196 in Topsham Monday night. The driver of the Tahoe survived but the driver of the Ford Ranger died as a result of the head-on collision after crossing the center line, police say.  COURTESY OF TOPSHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT

What remains of a Chevy Tahoe struck by a Ford Ranger on Route 196 in Topsham Monday night. The driver of the Tahoe survived but the driver of the Ford Ranger died as a result of the head-on collision after crossing the center line, police say. COURTESY OF TOPSHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT

TOPSHAM

Police identified the Topsham man who was killed Monday night after his vehicle crossed the center line twice and struck with two vehicles, one head-on, on Route 196 in Topsham.

Richard Wright, 71, of Topsham was declared dead at the scene. Topsham police Lt. Fred Dunn said late Tuesday police had to find and contact Wright’s family out of state prior to disclosing his identity.

Topsham police were called to the wreck at Route 196 near Roberts Hill Road at 8:29 p.m. Monday. Upon arrival, they found one motorist severely injured who was taken by Lisbon rescue personnel to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was listed in good condition Tuesday, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Howard Wilson, 70, of Lisbon was injured when the Chevy Tahoe he was driving west on Route 196 was struck head-on a Ford Ranger traveling east driven by Wright. Wilson had to be extricated from his vehicle by Topsham firefighters.

Wright was killed in the impact. Dunn said it’s likely Wright was headed back to his home on River Road but it isn’t yet known where he was coming from prior to the crash. Police have been focused on locating family members and now can focus on building a timeline for Wright’s whereabouts prior to the crash, Dunn said.

Dunn said Wright was driving east toward Topsham when his vehicle left the travel lane, crossed into oncoming traffic and sideswiped a Ford Taurus station wagon driven by Nichole O’Farrell, 39, of Lewiston, ripping part of the sheet metal off the door of the Taurus and forcing her into a ditch.

O’Farrell was not injured. Lisbon police responded to that crash.

Wright continued driving approximately a mile down Route 196 when he crossed the center line and crashed into the Tahoe driven by Wilson. Both vehicles were totaled after sustaining heavy front-end damage.

The crash is undergoing reconstruction by the Brunswick Police Department collision reconstruction team.

Topsham police Sgt. Robert Ramsay is leading the investigation of the crash, which closed a large portion of Route 196 for more than three hours. Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department also assisted.

The road was clear Monday night, Dunn said, and a preliminary investigation revealed speed was not a factor.

Dunn said police haven’t ruled out alcohol or drugs as a contributing factor; it will likely be at least three weeks before police get toxicology results, Dunn said.

The crash was in the area of 868 Lewiston Road, only 50 to 70 yards from a fatal two-vehicle crash that killed a pregnant mother of 10 from Auburn on Dec. 8.

Dunn said that area of Route 196 — on a corner and down a hill — has been the scene of several other accidents, including other fatal crashes.

It’s also the same area where a 17-year-old crashed into a ravine and went missing for two days while trapped in her car in November 2009 before a Topsham police officer found her.

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