A road-rage accident Monday afternoon on Route 302 ended with an SUV in the icy Crooked River and its three occupants at the hospital with hypothermia and minor injuries, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said.

Other motorists on Route 302 reported that a red pickup truck and the silver SUV with New Hampshire license plates were driving erratically before the accident near the Casco-Naples town line. Police didn’t provide a description of the vehicles, but photographs of the crash scene were taken by several news crews, including WCSH6-TV.

The SUV landed in the ice-covered river and the impact crumpled the vehicle’s front end, dislodging its front grille. The three people in the vehicle freed themselves and swam to safety, police said.

The driver of the pickup was uninjured and did not leave the scene; the vehicle’s front end sustained significant damage.

The incident is being handled as a criminal matter, Capt. Don Goulet said in a statement.

Investigators were tracking down and interviewing witnesses and police didn’t release the names of the drivers or the passengers in the SUV.


Deputies were called around 1:10 p.m. for reports of “erratic driving and road rage” between two drivers heading west on Route 302 in Casco, Goulet said in his statement. Deputies found the SUV floating in the river when they arrived.

Goulet said the three people were taken by ambulance to Bridgton Hospital.

Route 302 was shut down and not reopened until about 6 p.m., after the SUV had been pulled out of the river by a wrecker, police said.

Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

No one had been charged as of late Monday night. Information about the drivers and the circumstances could be released Tuesday, according to Sheriff Kevin Joyce.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:


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